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414 Fire-related mortality in Sweden-Temporal trends 1952–2013
  1. Anders Jonsson1,
  2. Marcus Runefors2,
  3. Stefan Särdqvist3,
  4. Finn Nilson1
  1. 1Karlstad University, Sweden
  2. 2Lund University, Sweden
  3. 3Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, Sweden

Abstract

Background The zero vision, declares that no one in Sweden should die or be seriously injured in fire-related incidents. In order to potentially reach this goal, historical trends are important to study to understand prevailing trends and emerging risk groups.

Methods This study examines temporal trends in deaths due to fire-related accidents in Sweden from1952 to 2013 based on statistics in the Cause of Death register held by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare. Fatalities coded with underlying cause of death associated with fire-related accidents are included and absolute numbers and age-adjusted mortality rates are calculated and statistically analysed for trends using Poisson regression.

Results We observed a significant reduction in both absolute numbers and in the age-adjusted mortality rate with a decline in absolute number of deaths of 34% over the period. However, the elderly population (80+ years) showed a significant increase in absolute numbers. Regarding the age-adjusted mortality rate, a significant reduction of 63% was observed and children aged 0–4 years showed the largest decrease (91%). A reduction was seen both in terms of fatalities due to burns and carbon monoxide poisoning, although the reduction was more pronounced with regards to burns (69% compared to 46%).

Conclusions Although an overall decrease was observed in both absolute numbers and in the

age-adjusted mortality rate, with an ageing population, the absolute numbers of fire-related deaths for the elderly population will most likely increase in the future. Therefore, whilst previously a child-injury issue, fire-related deaths in Sweden is now predominantly an issue of safety for the elderly. In combination with more deaths now being attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning, new preventative strategies might be required.

  • Fire fatalities
  • Temporal trends

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