New South Wales Australia shows nearly 44 000 residential fires in ten years, with higher incidence in social housing. The study, using nine data sources, covered all fires reported to fire services in NSW (population c. 8 million) 2005-2014. Over this period, 43 700 residential fires were reported, of which 5070 were in social housing (11.6%), that is a 20% higher occurrence in social housing taking into account the proportion of such housing. Fires in social housing were particularly caused by smokers’ materials. The fatality rate for social housing fires was no higher than for other housing fires, but the injury rate (health service intervention) was 16% higher. Nearly 90% of social housing fires over this period were in buildings with no functioning smoke alarm, but this proportion did fall slightly over the ten years.
“Comparison of causes, characteristics and consequences of residential fires in social and non-social housing dwellings in New South Wales, Australia”, Ghassempour et al., Preventive Medicine Reports 28 (2022) 101860 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2022.101860