Posted on 28/05/2024 in Electric & Electronic Fire Safety 2024
Fire risks in rural China

Ten years’ data shows increasing fires in China, especially in rural areas, with electrical systems the leading fire cause. Analysis of fire statistics 2012-2022 and nearly 2000 detailed questionnaires with rural populations show that number of fires in China and resulting economic losses have both increased two to five times over this decade. Fire deaths and injuries  fell through to 2020, but have since then increased back to 2012 numbers. The authors attribute the increases in fires to new energy technologies and batteries, increased home working, increased internet use since Covid. The proportion of fires occurring in rural areas has risen from c. 30% to >55%, despite a population shift towards urban areas (rural areas: c. 1/3 of China’s population by 2022). The main cause of fires in rural areas is electrical (over 1/3 of rural fires), careless handing of fires (1/5), agricultural production activities, funeral ceremonies and fireworks. A significant problem is occurrence of fires in “self-built” buildings. The authors propose an eight-point action strategy to address rural fire risks, including public fire awareness and education, addressing storage of flammable materials, staffing and equipping of rural fire brigades, improving electrical systems and fire safety inspections.

“Examining China’s rural fire protection within the rural revitalization strategy: An in-depth policy research”, Y. Li, X. Du, Fire and Materials, 2024;48:394–407

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