Number of serious fires grows
The number of large fires causing EUR 1 million or more in damage increased significantly last year.22 January 2008
THE HAGUE – The number of large fires increased significantly last year. The Association of Insurance Companies counted 108 fires that caused damage of EUR 1 million or more, the association announced on Tuesday.
The total damage caused by these large fires came to EUR 450 million, 50 percent more than in 2006, when the damage caused by large fires (79 incidents) came to EUR 290 million. There were 73 large fires in 2005.
The association says that the figures for the fourth quarter of 2007 are significantly higher than a year earlier. General director of the association Richard Weurding sees the damage figures as reason to put fire prevention higher on the political and social agenda.
"It is up to the government to play a leading role here," Weurding says. He cited concrete measures like sprinkler installations for all government buildings, smoke detectors in all homes, better availability of water for extinguishing fires and more fire fighters on duty.
The incident responsible for the most damage in 2007 was a fire in a distribution centre in Almere, which caused more than EUR 27 million in damage.
In total the insurance companies counted 41 fires causing more than EUR 1 million in damage each and total damage of EUR 130 million in the last quarter, compared to 23 fires of this magnitude and EUR 82 million in damage in the last three months of 2006.
The number of large fires reached a peak in 2003 when the Association of Insurance Companies registered 129 large fires.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2008]
Subject: Dutch news