Fire-Related Mortality in Sweden: Temporal Trends 1952 to 2013

Anders Jonsson, Marcus Runefors, Stefan Särdqvist, Finn Nilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines temporal trends in deaths due to fire-related accidents in Sweden from 1952 to 2013 based on statistics in the Cause of Death register held by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare. Fatalities coded with underlying cause of death associated with fire-related accidents are included and absolute numbers and age-adjusted mortality rates are calculated and statistically analysed for trends using Poisson regression. The results show a significant reduction in both absolute numbers and in the age-adjusted mortality rate with a decline in absolute number of deaths of 34% over the period. However, the elderly population (80+ years) showed a significant increase in absolute numbers. Regarding the age-adjusted mortality rate, a significant reduction of 63% was observed and children aged 0 to 4 years showed the largest decrease (91%). A reduction was seen both in terms of fatalities due to burns and carbon monoxide poisoning, although the reduction was more pronounced with regards to burns (69% compared to 46%). Although an overall decrease was observed in both absolute numbers and in the age-adjusted mortality rate, with an aging population, the absolute numbers of fire-related deaths for the elderly population will most likely increase in the future. Therefore, whilst previously a child-injury issue, fire-related deaths in Sweden is now predominantly an issue of safety for the elderly. In combination with more deaths now being attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning, new preventative strategies may be required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1697-1707
Number of pages11
JournalFire Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology


  • Accidental fires
  • Deaths
  • Fatalities
  • Trend


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