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What is responsible for the fires in the Czech Republic? One in three is at home, carelessness plays a leading role

The fourth day of May every year belongs to the International Day of Firefighters. They most often go out to technical breakdowns, traffic accidents and also fires. On this occasion, Deník’s data editorial team focused on fighting the flames.

Fire in an apartment in Olomouc. Illustrative image

| Photo: with the permission of the HZS of the Olomouc region

Every two minutes last year, a fire protection unit left the base. Every tenth trip, the firemen had to fight the flames. According to the statistics of the Fire Rescue Service of the Czech Republic (HZS ČR), professional firefighters fought more than seventeen thousand fires last year.

Compared to 2022, this is a roughly fifteen percent drop in departures, but a slight increase can be observed compared to the previous two years. In addition, the year 2022 was due to a hot, dry summer and fire in Czech Switzerland above average.

Nature is recovering faster than expected after the devastating fire in the Czech Switzerland National Park:

Firefighters from Cítolib in Czech Switzerland

Fascinating restoration. Scientists mapped the forest in Czech Switzerland after the fire

There were also fewer people killed last year. 105 people died in the fires, of which 83 were directly related to the raging element. Firefighters evacuated more than 14,000 people due to the flames, and about 1,400 were rescued outright. The highest number of fires per thousand inhabitants was recorded in the district of Plzeň-město.

The most common cause of fires was human carelessness, such as smoking or igniting food while cooking, or a technical fault. Almost a quarter of cases do not have a culprit. People deliberately caused over eight hundred fires.

More than five and a half thousand fire exits of firefighters were aimed at households. These include not only homes, but also pergolas, dustbins, gardens or cars. According to speaker of the Prague fire department, Martin Kavka, fires most often occur due to improper handling of fire, when cooking or when charging electronics. “A big prevention is to have a fire detector installed, which costs only a few hundred crowns. In addition, incipient fires can be stopped very quickly using, for example, a fire-extinguishing spray, which can also extinguish electrical installations,” advised Kavka.

Properly insured homes are few and far between

In 2022, uninsured households and companies lost 1.7 billion crowns due to uninsured fires, according to the Czech Association of Insurance Companies (ČAP). Only about 55 percent of people have their property insured. According to ČAP non-life insurance expert Lenka Slabejová, they are also often a problem and insufficient insurance.

“The value of homes and real estate is increasing, and so is the damage caused. It is therefore necessary to pay attention to the correct amount of insurance sums to avoid underinsurance, i.e. a situation where the sum insured is not updated and does not correspond to the real value of the property,” she pointed out.

How does the spokesman for the fire brigade see his work? Read the text:

South Bohemian fire department spokesperson Vendula Matějů in a dress by Tereza Sabačková photographed Gabriel Kalist at the headquarters of the HZS of the South Bohemian Region

At work in uniform, otherwise in a skirt. The firemen’s spokesman matches the outfit according to the mood

According to analysts, only a third of the insured are properly insured, while fifteen percent of contracts even reach a fifty percent or higher level of underinsurance. They have an influence on increasing the value of property rising prices of building materials, work and inflation. “The amount of the insurance amount should always be set so that in the event of an unexpected event, the property can be rebuilt from the insurance payment,” Slabejová added.

At the same time, almost two-thirds of people consider their insurance to correspond to the real value, but a quarter of them have never updated their policy.

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