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Assessing the number of fire fatalities in a defined population
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Centre for Public Safety. (Riskhantering)
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Centre for Public Safety.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0293-1795
2015 (English)In: Journal of Safety Research, ISSN 0022-4375, E-ISSN 1879-1247, Vol. 55, p. 99-103Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Fire-related fatalities and injuries have become a growing governmental concern in Sweden, and a national vision zero strategy has been adopted stating that nobody should get killed or seriously injured from fires. There is considerable uncertainty, however, regarding the numbers of both deaths and injuries due to fires. Different national sources present different numbers, even on deaths, which obstructs reliable surveillance of the problem over time. We assume the situation is similar in other countries. This study seeks to assess the true number of fire-related deaths in Sweden by combining sources, and to verify the coverage of each individual source. By doing so, we also wish to demonstrate the possibilities of improved surveillance practices. Method: Data from three national sources were collected and matched; a special database on fatal fires held by The Swedish Contingencies Agency (nationally responsible for fire prevention), a database on forensic medical examinations held by the National Board of Forensic Medicine, and the cause of death register held by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare. Results: The results disclose considerable underreporting in the single sources. The national database on fatal fires, serving as the principal source for policymaking on fireprevention matters, underestimates the true situation by 20 %. Its coverage of residential fires appears to be better than other fires. Conclusions: Systematic safety work and informed policy-making presuppose access to correct and reliable numbers. By combining several different sources, as suggested in this study, the national database on fatal fires is now considerably improved and includes regular matching with complementary sources.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 55, p. 99-103
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Public Health Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-38966DOI: 10.1016/j.jsr.2015.10.001ISI: 000367699600012PubMedID: 26683552OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-38966DiVA, id: diva2:891379
Funder
Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, 2014-5283Available from: 2016-01-07 Created: 2016-01-07 Last updated: 2018-04-18Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Dödsfall i Sverige till följd av brand: Omfattning och historiska trender
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dödsfall i Sverige till följd av brand: Omfattning och historiska trender
2016 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Fire-related Deaths in Sweden : Determining Current Levels and Historical Trends
Abstract [sv]

Ingen ska omkomma eller skadas svårt till följd av brand. Så lyder den nollvision som Myndigheten för Samhällsskydd och Beredskap har formulerat för brandskyddsområdet. Visionen ingår i en nationell strategi för att stärka brandskyddet för den enskilde och innehåller förutom vision tydliga mål. Ett målstyrt arbete måste vägledas av kunskap om problemets omfattning, orsaker och riskfaktorer. Likaså är det av stor vikt att ha kunskap om den historiska utvecklingen och rådande trend. Syftet med denna licentiatuppsats är att undersöka förekomst och historisk utveckling av brandrelaterade dödsfall Sverige. Data från tre olika nationella register har använts: Dödsbrandsdatabasen, Dödsorsaksregistret, och Registret över rättsmedicinska undersökningar. Vi har härigenom kunnat visa att den rutinmässigt framtagna statistiken från enskilda register systematiskt underskattar den verkliga situationen med 20-25%. Den historiska analysen visar att risken att omkomma genom brand har mer än halverats under de senaste 60 åren i Sverige. Den största minskningen gäller små barn och det är idag mycket ovanligt att små barn omkommer i brand. Risken har inte minskat i samma utsträckning bland äldre och en åldrande befolkning innebär att denna grupp måste prioriteras i framtida brandskyddsarbete.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2016. p. 42
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 4
Keywords
brand, omkomna, länkade data, mortalitet, historisk trend
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Risk and Environmental Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-38971 (URN)978-91-7063-681-3 (ISBN)
Presentation
2016-02-12, 1B364, Frödingsalen, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, 2014-5283
Available from: 2016-01-22 Created: 2016-01-07 Last updated: 2016-01-22Bibliographically approved
2. Dödsbränder i Sverige: En analys av datakvalitet, orsaker och riskmönster
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dödsbränder i Sverige: En analys av datakvalitet, orsaker och riskmönster
2018 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Fire-related deaths in Sweden : An analysis of data quality, causes and risk patterns
Abstract [sv]

Risken att omkomma genom brand har mer än halverats under de senaste 60 åren i Sverige. Det är idag mycket ovanligt att små barn omkommer i brand men samma positiva utveckling kan inte ses för de äldre. En åldrande befolkning som i ökande omfattning förväntas bo kvar hemma innebär att denna grupp måste prioriteras i framtida brandskyddsarbete. Sambearbetning av data från tre nationella register visar att rutinmässigt framtagen statistik systematiskt underskattar den verkliga situationen. Män, äldre, ensamboende och ekonomiskt svaga är särskilt riskutsatta grupper att omkomma vid bostadsbränder och förekomst av alkohol bland offren är mycket vanligt. Den i särklass vanligaste brandorsaken är rökning. Trots att varje dödsbrand är unik kan det omfattande materialet beskrivas av relativt få och tydligt avgränsade typer av händelser som var och en måste mötas med relevanta preventiva insatser. Avhandlingen visar att dödsbränder i bostäder i huvudsak är ett socialt problem och att det kommer att krävas uthålliga och breda strategier, bestående både av sociala och tekniska åtgärder för att skydda de mest riskutsatta och sårbara människorna i samhället.

Abstract [en]

In Sweden, more than 100 people die in fires every year and there is a societal goal of decreasing the risk of fire-related deaths. A goal-orientated prevention approach needs to be credibly underpinned with an understanding of the extent of the problem, its causes and risk factors, aspects that have largely been missing in Sweden. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis was to analyze fatal fires and fatalities in Sweden from an epidemiological perspective. The historical trends show that the risk of dying due to fire has decreased by more than 50% over the last 60 years in Sweden, with the largest decline being seen amongst children. In Sweden today, the risk of young children dying in a fire is very low. However, the risk of dying in fires has not declined to the same extent among elderly. In light of the aging Swedish population, older people must therefore be a priority in future fire protection. To investigate fire fatalities, data from three different national registers were combined. By combining the three sources, it was clear that the present routine statistics systematically underestimate the true situation. In-depth analysis regarding residential fires show that men and elderly are particularly at risk, as well as people living alone, as well as those on low income, social security benefits and health-related early-retirement benefits. The most common cause of fire was smoking and the presence of alcohol among the victims was very common. When combined, the extensive material can be simplified and described by well-defined clusters that each can be meet with relevant preventive efforts. Crucially, however, it is clear that mortality in residential fires is essentially a social problem and improving the protection of the most vulnerable people in society needs to be ascertained through sustained and holistic strategies, consisting of both social and technical measures. To establish and facilitate this, a cross-sectoral approach within municipalities and central government is needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2018. p. 83
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2018:18
Keywords
Fire, Risk, Mortality, Epidemiology, Brand, Risk, Mortalitet, Epidemiologi
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Risk and Environmental Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-67023 (URN)978-91-7063-851-0 (ISBN)978-91-7063-946-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-05-18, 21A342, Eva Erikssonsalen, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-04-27 Created: 2018-04-17 Last updated: 2018-05-22Bibliographically approved

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Jonsson, AndersAndersson, Ragnar

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