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National Fire Costs-a Wasteful Past But A Better Future

Wilmot, T., 1986. National Fire Costs-a Wasteful Past But A Better Future. Fire Safety Science 1: 1009-1017. doi:10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.1-1009


Fires are costing many countries around 1% of Gross Domestic Product, but compared with other aspects of national waste such as Road Safety, Crime Prevention and Industrial Safety, Fire Prevention ranks low in political priorities. Countries have a responsibility to develop a fire strategy aimed at reducing fire costs. For measuring the success of the strategy, national fire cost statistics are needed for comparison with other countries. These statistics need to cover both fire losses and fire protection costs. In 1983 the World Fire Statistics Centre was formed under the auspices of the Geneva Association and with headquarters in Geneva. Its object is to encourage better world fire statistics and to encourage politicians to rank fire protection higher in the list of political priorities. Major Centre activities have included cooperation with the United Nations in a fire statistical scheme under which 14 countries have submitted annual fire cost statistics and with the Commission of the European Communities (EEC) in the International Fire Symposium held in Luxembourg in 1984. Details of national fire cost statistics are included in this paper, together with some suggestions for future progress, including a plea for a World Fire Research Council.


Cost analysis, Losses: statistics, World Fire Statistics Centre

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