Residential Fire Fatalities: Children, Adults, Seniors

Ontario Residential Fatal Fires

Children, Adults, Seniors

The information in this report is for Ontario Residential fatal fires during the ten year period from 2006 to 2015

Data Source: The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) investigates fatal fires in Ontario.

Revised: December 2016

 

2006-2015 Residential Fire Fatalities by Age Group

When we look at the age of victims we see:

  • 3% of the victims were between the ages of 0 to 9,
  • 5%  were between 10 to 19,
  • 6% 20 to 29,
  • 8% 30 to 39,
  • 16% 40 to 49,
  • 17% 50 to 59,
  • 15% 60 to 69,
  • 16% 70 to 79,
  • 11% 80 to 89,
  • 3% 90 or older.

(Excludes fire deaths on First Nations and Federal properties)

2006-2015 Residential Fire Fatalities by Age Group


2006-2015 Residential Fire fatalities: Victims by Age Group (Children, Adults, Seniors)

From 2006 to 2015:

  • 37% of fire fatalities were in the 65+ age group,
  • 57% were ages 16 to 64 and
  • 6% were ages 0 to 15.

(Excludes fire deaths on First Nations and Federal properties)

 2006-2015 Residential Fire fatalities: Victims by Age Group (Children, Adults, Seniors)


Fire Death Rate by Age of Victim  

The fire death rate is the number of fire fatalities per million population.

Looking at age groups – Seniors 65+ are at a higher risk than other age groups. This group has a higher death rate than the other age groups.

There have been changes in the death rates from earlier studies.

The fire death rate in seniors increased to 33 per million population in  1997. Since then the death rate for seniors has been going down.

In 2015 the fire death rate for Seniors 65+ was 17 per million population.

For Adults, ages 16 to 64, it was 5 per million.

For Youths, ages 0 to 15, the rate was 1 per million.

(Excludes fire deaths on First Nations and Federal properties.)

Fire Death Rate by Age of Victim  


2006-2015: Fire fatalities Age 65+

Fire fatalities aged 65+ more frequently die in fires starting during the night in the living area by lit cigarettes or other smokers' materials igniting clothing or upholstered furniture.

The victim is very likely to be disabled.

Total fatalities:  273 from 2006 to 2015, average 27 per year.

Time of day: 35% in fires between Midnight to 8am.

Area of origin: 36% living area.

Ignition sources: Cigarettes 26%, cooking equipment 11%.

Object first ignited:  Furniture 19%, clothing 8%, bedding 8%.

Physical condition: 30% of victims had an ambulatory or other disability.

(Excludes fire deaths on First Nations and Federal properties)

2006-2015: Fire fatalities Age 65+


2006-2015:  65+ Age groups

Within the 65+ age group:-

  • Ages 65-69, is 20%
  • Ages 70-79,  42%
  • Ages 80-89, 30%
  • Ages 90+, 8%.


Bedding ignited by smokers' materials or clothing ignited by cooking equipment are also fatal combinations for seniors.
What’s different about fires involving victims age 65+?

  • The largest percentage of fire deaths were in the 70-79 age group.
  • More incidents where furniture ignited by smokers materials.
  • More victims physically disabled.

2006-2015:  65+ Age groups


2006-2015: Fire fatalities Age 16 to 64

Fire fatalities aged 16 to 64 more frequently die in fires starting during the night in the living area in fires started by lit cigarettes or other smoker’s materials igniting upholstered furniture or intentionally set fires.

The victims were more likely to be impaired by alcohol.

Total fatalities:  420 from 2006 to 2015, average 42 per year.

Time of day: 46% in fires between midnight and 8 am.

Area of origin: 33% Living area.

Ignition sources: Cigarettes 26%, cooking equipment 8%.

Cause: 18% of the fires started by Arson (includes homicides and suicides).

Object first ignited:  Furniture/rugs 15%, bedding/mattress/pillow 12%, Gasoline 7%, Clothing  3%.

Physical condition: 22% of victims were impaired - the majority by alcohol, a small percentage by drugs.

(Excludes fire deaths on First Nations and Federal properties)

2006-2015: Fire fatalities Age 16 to 64

2006-2015: 16 to 64 Age groups

Within the 16 to 64 age group:-

  • Ages 16 to 19 is 5%
  • Ages 20-29, 9%
  • Ages 30-39, 15%
  • Ages 40-49, 28%
  • Ages 50-59, 30%
  • Ages 60 to 64 is 13%.

What’s different about fires involving victims aged 16 to 64?

  • The largest percentage of fire deaths were in the 50-59 age group
  • 22% of victims were impaired (alcohol or drugs) – The highest incidence of impairment was:  40 to 49 age group
  • Like seniors, the #1 ignition source was smoking articles (usually igniting furniture/bedding). 

2006-2015: 16 to 64 Age groups


2006-2015: Fire fatalities Age 0 to 15

Fire fatalities aged 0 to 15 more frequently die in fires starting during the night in the living area.

33% of the victims were reported as asleep at the time of the fire and an additional 14% were infants too young to act (under 5).

In most of these fires the victim was not responsible for the ignition, however in 16% of these fires a child used matches/lighters to start the fire.

Total fatalities:  42 from 2006 to 2015, average 4 per year.

Time of day:  62% in fires between midnight and 8 am.

Area of origin:  33% Living area.

Ignition sources:  14% Cooking, 14% cigarettes, 12% Matches or lighters.

Cause:  19% of the fires started by Children, 14% by Arson.

Object first ignited:  Furniture/rugs 19%, bedding 14%.

Physical condition: 33% of victims asleep, 14% were infants 0 to 4 – too young to act.

(Excludes fire deaths on First Nations and Federal properties)

2006-2015: Fire fatalities Age 0 to 15


2006-2015: 0 to 15 Age groups

57% of victims in the 0 to 15 age group were between the ages of 0 and 9;
43% of the fatalities in the 0 to 15 age group were ages 10 to 15.


What’s different about fires involving victims aged 0 to 15?

  • 33% of young victims were reported to be asleep at the time of the fire, 14% were aged 0 to 4 - too young to act
  • 19% of youth fatalities were in fires started by children.

2006-2015: 0 to 15 Age groups