Background Until recently, fire statistics in Canada have been difficult to obtain. The National Fire Information Database (NFID) is a pilot project of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs and the Council of Canadian Fire Marshals and Fire Commissioners. For the first time, 10 years of fire information from across Canada is unified in a single database and available for research and analysis.
Objective To illustrate fire-related injuries and deaths among Canadian children≤19 years old, and to compare age-related rates between 5 Canadian provinces.
Methods All residential fire incidents causing injury and death to children≤19 years old within the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario, from 2005–2014 were included in the analysis. Rates per 10 000 fires were calculated and compared between age groups and across provinces.
Results The rates of injury and death among the study population were 60.5 and 10.6, respectively. Children aged 0–4 and 15–19 suffered the highest rates of injuries and deaths. The rate of injury among 0–4 and 5–9 year-olds was highest in Ontario (32.0 and 18.6, respectively), while Alberta showed the highest rate of injuries among 10–14 and 15–19 year-olds (16.1 and 43.8, respectively). Finally, the death among 0–4 year-olds in Manitoba was 2.3 times higher than the Canadian average (8.3 vs 3.6).
Discussion Rates of injury exceeded rates of death in every province, with the exception of 0–4 year olds in Manitoba. External factors, such as severity of the fire, response time of emergency services, and distance to the pediatric care facility, may contribute to this difference. The youngest children and oldest teens appear to be most at risk, indicating that developmental stage is an important consideration for strategic intervention. Further research is needed to clarify and address disparities between provinces.
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