Smoking blamed for 104 Swedish fire deaths

More than 100 people perished in fires in Sweden during 2013 with experts saying that smoking remains the main cause for fatal blazes.

Smoking blamed for 104 Swedish fire deaths

A total of 104 lives were lost last year as a result of fires which is one more than in 2012. The figures were compiled by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB). 

"Compared to the numbers a few years ago it is of a lower level and that is gratifying," said Mattias Strömgren, accident investigator of the MSB to the TT news agency.

The figures for the last three years for deaths caused by fire remain much the same. In 2010 there were 130 casualties but the MSB said they are unable to account for the reduction.

"We don't have any explanation for why this is," said Strömgren.

He added; "We've seen a reduction in the number of stove related fires."

However, smoking remains the most common cause of fatal fires with cigarettes not being stubbed out properly often yielding disastrous consequences.

The so-called self-extinguishing cigarette, which was introduced in Europe two years ago, has not made any difference either maintained Strömgren.

"It seems they don't work as we would wish. Up to now we haven't seen any effect," he said.

Over 80 percent of the fatalities were in residences while 40 percent of the victims were aged 65 or older.

The first related death of 2014 has already been recorded when an elderly man was found dead in his apartment in Bålsta, north of Stockholm on New Year's Day. 

The Local/pr 

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