Most fires start in bedrooms and cigarettes are main cause

Ten years of data, of 366 deaths from 326 fires, shows often the cause is unknown

Cigarettes were the suspected cause of a quarter of fatal fires an analysis of a decade of statistics shows.

A total of 366 deaths connected to 326 fires were recorded across Ireland from 2005 to 2014, according to statistics provided by fire services across the countryand published by the Department of the Environment.

In many cases, the cause of the fire is unknown or was passed on to the Garda to investigate. However, in the 158 instances where the cause of the fire was identified, cigarettes were the suspected cause in a quarter of cases. Electrical appliances were suspected in 18 per cent of cases, while a further 3 per cent were attributed to electric blankets.

Chip pan fires

Matches, candles and chip pan fires were the next most likely causes of fire fatalities during the time. Four people died after falling into an open fire, one of whom was a man thought to have had a heart attack beforehand. Self-immolation using petrol was recorded in one fatality which occurred in 2013.


More fires began in a bedroom than any other room of the home. Bedrooms were the suspected place a fire started in 99 incidents, or three in 10 fires.

The livingroom was the second most likely site of a fatal fire, with over a quarter starting there, with cigarettes again the most likely cause.