Mental Health and Fire Risk

In the UK, there were 10.3 million recorded instances of mental ill-health over a one-year period, and the third most common cause of disability was depression. It is important to note that mental health problems affect the lives of millions of people across the UK, and the personal impact on people, families, and communities is significant.

The effects of mental ill health can manifest in instances of fire, although evidence is sparse and data has not been available to support this.

To enable the sector to understand the association between the diagnosis of mental ill health in members of the community and their risk of fire, a review and analysis was commissioned by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Mental Health Board and undertaken by academics at Nottingham Trent University.

The aim of the analysis was to explore the assumption of a relationship between the two in order to provide an evidence base to inform future Prevention work and Community Risk Programmes, enabling policy and practice changes to be considered.

This report, entitled ‘Prevention Assumptions in the Community Work of the UK FRS: Exploring the Association between Mental Health Diagnosis and Incidents of Fire’, details the findings from the resulting analysis.

The recommendations contained in this report will be published alongside an action plan, which will be retained and developed under the governance of the Mental Health Board.

As we seek to improve data capture and understand causal links between mental ill health and fire, the work will undoubtedly cut across other areas within the Sector, work stream leads within the Mental Health Board will liaise with other leads as necessary.