Fewer Danes killed in fires

Victims are typically older, single men who smoke

Fewer Danes than normal died in fires last year, according to new numbers from the emergency preparedness authority Beredskabsstyrelsen.

The figures (here in Danish) reveal that just 68 lost their lives in 64 fires last year, the lowest number since 2012, and that most of the deaths (61 percent) were related to smoking. Over a third of all the deaths were men over the age of 67, who typically lived alone.

“As a citizen you can help avoid these kinds of fires,” said Mads Dalgaard, a spokesperson for Beredskabsstyrelsen.

“You can speak with family and friends and make sure they have a smoke alarm in their homes. We are talking about a group of people who are difficult to get into contact with and who perhaps don’t have the energy to get it done.”

READ MORE: Fredericia fire was an environmental disaster

Dark month blazes
Beredskabsstyrelsen launched a campaign in 2014 that focused on fire-proofing the homes of elderly and vulnerable groups.

But as of March 2016, just 26 out of the nation’s 98 municipalities had joined the campaign.

Most fires that lead to deaths occur during the dark months of December and January.