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Gaunt, J.E. and Aitken, I., 1964. CAUSES OF FIRES IN DWELLINGS IN LONDON, BIRMINGHAM AND MANCHESTER AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CLIMATIC CONDITIONS DURING THE FIRST QUARTER OF 1963.. Fire Research Notes 538
During the first 3 months of 1963 the fire incidence in occupied dwellings in London, Manchester and Birmingham was approximately 22 per cent higher than its expected value (obtained by extrapolating the fire incidence curve for the previous 5 years). There was a corresponding increase in the number of incidents involving fatalities. There is evidence of a close association between fire incidence and minimum temperature, the relationship being approximately linear for minimum temperatures below freezing point. In fact, based on fire incidence in London, Manchester and Birmingham, in London alone when the temperature is below freezing point, for every degree (OF) drop in weekly average minimum temperature there is a corresponding increase in fire incidence by about 10 fires per week. The causes most associated with the increase in fires (and also associated with the extreme climatic conditions) appear to be oil stoves, fires in grates, electric wires and cables, unknown sources of ignition, electric blankets and bedwarmers, oil blowlamps and candles.