HC Deb 07 February 1963 vol 671 cc656-7
25. Lieut.-Colonel Cordeaux

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many fires caused by paraffin heaters were reported to the fire services in 1960, 1961, and 1962, respectively; and how many deaths resulted therefrom.

Mr. Woodhouse

In 1960 2,988 fires caused by paraffin heaters were reported to fire brigades in England and Wales, and in 1961 3,004. The statistics do not show how many deaths were caused by these fires, but it seems from sampling that there were rather fewer than 30 in each year. I regret that figures are not yet available for 1962.

Lieut.-Colonel Cordeaux

Does my hon. Friend know that in Nottingham, where these heaters are very much used by Commonwealth immigrants, we have averaged one fire a fortnight during the past two years, and will he perhaps encourage some other local authorities to follow the example of the Nottingham Home Safety Council and Fire Brigade Committee which have launched a widespread campaign to instruct people in the proper use of these heaters?

Mr. Woodhouse

I was not aware of the statistics for Nottingham, and I am very glad to learn of the example it has set, but I would remind my hon. and gallant Friend that since the middle of last year regulations have been in force which require oil heaters to conform to certain specifications laid down by the British Standards Institution; but it is really too early yet to know what result that will have had on the statistics.

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