Identifying Household Level Risk Factors for Unintentional House Fire Incidents, Injuries and Fatalities IJPDS (2017) Issue 1, Vol 1:315 Proceedings of the IPDLN Conference (August 2016)

Main Article Content

Samantha Turner
Sarah Rodgers
Ronan Lyons
Published online: Apr 19, 2017


Unintentional house fire incidents, injuries and deaths are a serious public health concern in the UK, which disproportionally affect certain groups in the population. Whilst house fires have decreased in recent years; growing financial pressures in the Fire and Rescue Services (FRSs) have resulted in funds dedicated to fire preventative activities becoming increasingly limited. To ensure ever limiting resources are targeted towards those households at greatest risk, it is essential the FRSs’ are accurately informed about the types of household at increased risk. The aim of this project is to undertake a large-scale case-control study, to identify the distinguishing household level risk factors associated with unintentional house fire incidents, injuries and deaths.

Unintentional house fire incidents reported to the Welsh FRS between the years 2003-2008, were anonymised and incorporated into the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank at the Farr Institute, Swansea University. 6943 case households (households which reported a fire to the FRS) were time-matched to 347,150 control households (case:control ratio 1:50). Individuals registered as living at these properties on the date of the fire were established using the Welsh Demographic Service (WDS) dataset. Household level variables will be created by linking case and control households to other demographic, health, educational and environmental datasets in SAIL. Conditional Logistic Regression will be used to estimate matched odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals.

Potential risk factor variables were selected on the basis of a systematic review and theoretically plausible variables. Covariates include: household composition (e.g. age and gender of residents), socioeconomic status, educational attainment, smoking, alcohol consumption, mental health conditions, other health related conditions, mobility and sensory impairments and property related characteristics. Fire related circumstances (e.g. fire ignition source, presence of a smoke alarm) will also be investigated in logistic regression models exploring risk factors for injury and death. Results will be presented at the conference.

This is the first large-scale analysis of risk factors for unintentional house fire incidents, injuries and deaths. The findings from this project will be translated into comprehensible infographics, designed to support the FRSs, other partner organisations and the general public, recognise high risk households in need of preventative interventions.


There is limited evidence from randomized trials and observational studies to guide clinical practice regarding the use of statins in long-term care (LTC); the effectiveness of statins among those with limited life expectancy is not clear and there is concern that the risk of drug-related adverse events might outweigh any benefit. We examined the impact of initiating statin therapy on mortality for patients newly admitted to LTC.


Population-based health administrative data from Ontario, Canada were used to conduct a retrospective cohort study of newly admitted LTC residents, aged 66+ years and no statin use in the previous year, between January 1 2011 and December 31 2014. This cohort was linked to Resident Assessment Instrument (interRAI) data to capture clinical and functional characteristics (including frailty, activities of daily living, and cognitive function). The primary exposure was statin use within 30 days following LTC entry; residents who died or did not receive an interRAI assessment within 30 days were excluded. A propensity score for receiving statins was computed using resident demographic, clinical and functional characteristics. We matched exposed to unexposed patients on the basis of age (\(\pm\)1 year), sex, prior myocardial infarction(MI)/stroke hospitalization, frailty and propensity score (\(\pm\)0.2 standard deviations). Patients were followed in an intention-to-treat manner from the end of the exposure window until the earliest of death or March 31 2015. Cox regression was used to compare mortality between the study groups.


We identified 39,560 newly admitted LTC residents aged 66+ years with no statin use in the previous year, of which 1,953 (4.9%) were prescribed a statin within 30 days of LTC entry. Propensity score matching resulted in 1,710 pairs of exposed and unexposed patients. In the matched cohort, those receiving statins had a lower rate of mortality compared with those not receiving statins (Hazard Ratio 0.77; 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 0.70-0.85). In pre-specified subgroup analyses, the association between statin use and reduced mortality persisted among those with and without a prior MI/stroke hospitalization and among those categorized as frail and not frail.


Our data suggest initiating statins may be beneficial in reducing mortality risk among LTC residents, despite the complexity and advanced age of the patients. By linking rich resident-level health and functional assessment data with health administrative data we were able to characterize the association between demographic and clinical characteristics (including frailty) and exposure to statins more fully than with administrative data alone.

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