Residential Fire Fatalities: Children, Adults, Seniors

Ontario Residential Fatal Fires

Children, Adults, Seniors

The information in this report is for Ontario Residential fatal fires during the ten year period from 2007 to 2016

Data Source: The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) investigates fatal fires in Ontario.

Revised: December 2017.


 

2007-2016 Residential Fire Fatalities by Age Group

When we look at the age of victims we see:

  • 3% of the victims were between the ages of 0 to 9,
  • 5%  were between 10 to 19,
  • 5% 20 to 29,
  • 9% 30 to 39,
  • 14% 40 to 49,
  • 18% 50 to 59,
  • 15% 60 to 69,
  • 16% 70 to 79,
  • 11% 80 to 89,
  • 4% 90 or older.

(Excludes fire deaths on First Nations and Federal properties)

2007-2016 Residential Fire Fatalities by Age Group



 

 


2007-2016 Residential Fire fatalities:
Victims by Age Group (Children, Adults, Seniors)

From 2007 to 2016:

  • 38% of fire fatalities were in the 65+ age group,
  • 57% were ages 16 to 64 and
  • 5% were ages 0 to 15.

(Excludes fire deaths on First Nations and Federal properties)

2007-2016 Residential Fire fatalities: Victims by Age Group  (Children, Adults, Seniors)


 

Fire Death Rate by Age of Victim  

The fire death rate is the number of fire fatalities per million population.

Looking at age groups – Seniors 65+ are at a higher risk than other age groups, this group has a higher death rate than the other age groups (65+ population was about the same as 0-15 age group and 4 times smaller than 16-64 age group in 2016).

There have been changes in the death rates from earlier studies.

The fire death rate in seniors increased to 33 per million population in 1997. Since then the death rate for seniors has been going down.

In 2016, the fire death rate for Seniors 65+ was 14 per million population.

For Adults, ages 16 to 64, it was 5 per million population (2016).

For Youths, ages 0 to 15, the rate was 3 per million population (2016).

Excludes fire deaths on First Nations and Federal properties.

Population source: Statistics Canada Table 051-0001.

Fire Death Rate by Age of Victim  



 

 

2007-2016: Fire fatalities Age 65+

Fire fatalities aged 65+ more frequently died in fires starting during the night in the living area by lit cigarettes or other smokers' materials igniting clothing or upholstered furniture.

The victim is likely to be disabled.

Total fatalities:  283 from 2007 to 2016, average 28 per year.

Time of day: 36% in fires between 8am to 4pm.

Area of origin: 34% living area.

Ignition sources: Cigarettes 24%, cooking equipment 11%.

Object first ignited:  Furniture/rugs 19%.

Physical condition: 27% of victims had an ambulatory or other disability (34% Normal).

(Excludes fire deaths on First Nations and Federal properties)

2007-2016: Fire fatalities Age 65+



 

 

2007-2016:  65+ Age groups

Within the 65+ age group:-

  • Ages 65-69, is 20%
  • Ages 70-79,  42%
  • Ages 80-89, 29%
  • Ages 90+, 9%.


Bedding ignited by smokers' materials or clothing ignited by cooking equipment are also fatal combinations for seniors.
What’s different about fires involving victims age 65+?

  • The largest percentage of fire deaths were in the 70-79 age group.
  • More incidents where furniture ignited by smokers materials.
  • More victims physically disabled.

2007-2016:  65+ Age groups



 

 

2007-2016: Fire fatalities Age 16 to 64

Fire fatalities aged 16 to 64 more frequently died in fires starting during the night in the living area in fires started by lit cigarettes or other smoker’s materials igniting upholstered furniture or intentionally set fires.

Some victims were impaired by alcohol/drugs.

Total fatalities:  422 from 2007 to 2016, average 42 per year.

Time of day: 46% in fires between midnight and 8 am.

Area of origin: 33% Living area.

Ignition sources: Cigarettes 28%, Cooking equipment 8%.

Cause: 18% of the fires started by Arson (includes homicides and suicides).

Object first ignited:  Furniture/rugs 15%, Bedding/mattress/pillow 13%.

Physical condition: 22% of victims were impaired - the majority by alcohol, a small percentage by drugs.

(Excludes fire deaths on First Nations and Federal properties)

2007-2016: Fire fatalities Age 16 to 64


 

2007-2016: 16 to 64 Age groups

Within the 16 to 64 age group:-

  • Ages 16 to 19 is 5%
  • Ages 20-29, 10%
  • Ages 30-39, 15%
  • Ages 40-49, 25%
  • Ages 50-59, 31%
  • Ages 60 to 64 is 14%.

What’s different about fires involving victims aged 16 to 64?

  • The largest percentage of fire deaths were in the 50-59 age group
  • 22% of victims were impaired (alcohol or drugs) – The highest incidence of impairment was:  40 to 49 age group
  • Like seniors, the #1 ignition source was smoking articles. 

2007-2016: 16 to 64 Age groups



 

 

2007-2016: Fire fatalities Age 0 to 15

Fire fatalities aged 0 to 15 more frequently die in fires starting during the night in the living area.

28% of the victims were reported as asleep at the time of the fire and an additional 18% were infants too young to act (under age 5).

In most of these fires the victim was not responsible for the ignition, however in 13% of these fires a child used matches/lighters to start the fire.

Total fatalities:  39 from 2007 to 2016, average 4 per year.

Time of day:  67% in fires between midnight and 8 am.

Area of origin:  38% Living area.

Ignition sources:  18% Cooking, 13% cigarettes, 13% Matches or lighters.

Cause:  21% of the fires started by Children (age 11 and younger), 10% by Arson.

Object first ignited:  Furniture/rugs 18%, bedding 13%.

Physical condition: 28% of victims asleep, 18% were infants 0 to 4 – too young to act.

(Excludes fire deaths on First Nations and Federal properties)

2007-2016: Fire fatalities Age 0 to 15



 

 

2007-2016: 0 to 15 Age groups

64% of victims in the 0 to 15 age group were between the ages of 0 and 9.
36% of the fatalities in the 0 to 15 age group were ages 10 to 15.


What’s different about fires involving victims aged 0 to 15?

  • 28% of young victims were reported to be asleep at the time of the fire, 18% were aged 0 to 4 - too young to act
  • 21% of youth fatalities were in fires started by children.

2007-2016: 0 to 15 Age groups