Trends of fire deaths and effects of fire safety measures in Taiwan during 1971-2015


  • Yen-Hsiung Liao Kaohsiung Medical University





Fire, Potential Years of Life Lost, Evasion Training.


Purpose: Although fire causes 2 % of deaths of the global accidents in Taiwan, injury or death caused by fire is frequent and largely preventable.

Approach: Using the Health and Vital Statistics, Fire Losses and Casualties Table, Abridged Life Tables, and Services for Fire Fighting by official publications during 1971-2015, we approached the trends of population, ages, gender, and social costs associated with fatal fire and evaluated the effects of fire safety measures.

Results: The higher mortality rate of fire death was in the elders. Fire death rates were 1.92 folds higher risk in males than in females (p < 0.05). The potential years of life lost (PYLL) implied the most efficient evaluation for the fire safety measures. Fire mortality and casualty could be prevented by fire prevention, fire rescue and emergency medical measures effectively. The most significant effect of fire safety measures was evasion training that adopted the indicator of mortality per 102 burned houses (MBH).

Conclusions: Therefore, fire prevention efforts should concentrate on males, and elders. The decreasing of fire numbers should be developed and encouraged.


[1] Bang RL, & Mosbah KM (1988). Epidemiology of burns in Kuwait. Burns Incl Therm Injury 14, 194-200.

[2] Barillo DJ. & Goode R (1996). Fire fatality study: demographics of fire victims. Burns 22, 85-88.

[3] Barret JP, Gomez P, Solano I, Gonzalez-Dorrego M, & Crisol F J (1999). Epidemiology and mortality of adult burns in Catalonia. Burns 25, 325-329.

[4] Children's Bureau Ministry of Interior, 2003. ROC Child Welfare Law. t_type=dis

[5] Chuang CH, Liu YH, & Wang JD (1993). Cumulative mortality rate and years of potential life loss due to fire in Taiwan during 1971-1990. Journal of National Public Health Association Republic of China12, 380-391.

[6] Clark DE, Dainiak CN, & Reeder S (2000). Decreasing incidence of burn injury in a rural state. Injury Prevention 6, 259-262.

[7] Department of Statistics Ministry of Health and Welfare, 1971-2015b. Health and Vital Statistics. Department of Statistics. Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan.

[8] Department of Statistics Ministry of Interior, 2015. Abridged Life Tables of Taiwan-Fuchien Area. Department of Statisics Ministry of Interior, Taiwan.

[9] Etter IB (1987). Costs of injury. Public Health Reports 102, 634-637.

[10] Elisdottir R, Ludvigsson P, Einarsson O, Thorgrimsson S, & Haraldsson A (1995). Paediatric burns in Iceland. Hospital admission 1982-1995, a populations based study. Burns 25, 149-151.

[11] Hartunian NS, Smart CN, & Thompson MS (1980). The incidence and economic costs of cancer, motor vehicle injuries, coronary heart disease, and stroke: a comparative analysis. AJPH 70, 1249-1260.

[12] Lai D & Hardy RJ (1999). Potential gains in life expectancy or years of potential life lost: Impact of competing risks of death. International Journal of Epidemiology 28, 894-898.

[13] Liu EH, Khatri B, Shakya YM, & Richard BM (1998). A 3-year prospective audit of burns patients treated at the Western Regional Hospital of Nepal. Burn 24, 129-133.

[14] Marshall SW, Runyan CW, Bangdiwala SI, Linzer M A, Sacks JJ, & Butts JD (1998). Fatal residential fires: who dies and who survives? JAMA 279, 1633-1637.

[15] Mcgwin G J, Chapman V, Curtis J, & Rousculp M (1999). Fire fatalities in older people.J Am Geriatr Soc 47, 1307-1311.

[16] Miettinen OS (1972). Standardization of risk ratios. Am J Epidemiol 96, 168-172.

[17] Mzezewa S, Jonsson K, Aber M, & Salemark K (1999). Prospective study on the epidemiology of burns in patients admitted to the Harare burn units. Burns 24, 134-138.

[18] National Fire Agency Ministy of the Interior, 2015. Organizational History.

[19] National Fire Fighting Administration, 2002. The organization and appropriation of firefighting. In White BooK of Fire Fighting, Taipei, Taiwan,pp. 7-14.

[20] Panjeshahin MR, Lari AR, Talei AR, Shamsnia J, & Alaghehbandan R (2001). Epidemiology and mortality of burns in the South West of Iran. Burn 27, 219-226.

[21] Reig A, Tejerina C, Baena P, & Mirabet V (1994). Massive burns: a study of epidemiology and mortality. Burns20, 51-54.

[22] Roger MS (1980). Deaths due to accidents in Taiwan: A possible indicator of deelopment. Soc. Sci. & Med 14, 361-367.

[23] Stockhausen AL, Katcher ML (2001). Burn injury from products in the home: prevention and counseling. WMJ100, 39-44.

[24] Tejerina C, Reig A, Codina J, Safont J, Baena P, & Mirabet V.(1992). An epidemiological study of burn patients hospitalized in Valencia, Spain during 1989.Burns 18, 15-18.

[25] Waller AE, Marshall SW, & Langley JD (1998). Adult thermal injuries in New- Zealand resulting in death and hospitalization. Burns 24, 245-251.

View Full Article: