The role of alcohol in fatal fires in Ireland

Thursday, 24 October, 2019 - 10:50 to 12:20
Guided poster tours room


Background Using coronial data, all fatal fires in the Republic of Ireland were examined. Information on 107 fatalities for the years of death 2014, 2015 and 2016 was collected to describe all fire-related fatalities that occurred. Over half of those who died during this period had alcohol listed in their toxicology report

Methods Information on fire fatalities was gleaned from coronial files and analysis was descriptive using SPSS.

Results Of the 107 fatal fires, 54 (59%) had alcohol listed on their ante-mortem or post-mortem toxicology report. The majority were male (36, 67%), were single (including divorced, widowed, separated) (42, 39%) and were aged over 60 years of age (28, 52%). All fires involving alcohol took place in private dwellings, in rural locations (29, 54%) and the majority of people were alone at the time of the fire (39, 72%). Mobility was an issue for six people (11%) and 12 people (22%) were reported to have a history of mental ill-health. Seventeen people (32%) were known to be smokers at the time of their death. The ante-mortem and post-mortem toxicology reports showed that 34 fatalities (63%) had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 160 mg/100ml.

Conclusion The high BAC levels in a significant number of fire fatalities, draws attention to the negative impact of alcohol on fire-related mortality.


Presentation files

EP989Anne Doyle.pdf366.72 KBDownload




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