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18034 – Commercial vehicle fires

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A request for information about Commercial vehicle fires – 18034

Ref: FOI/18034


I am writing to confirm that the West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information you requested on 27th February 2018.

Please find below a summary of our findings.


We are currently doing some research analysis in relation to commercial vehicle fires and was wondering whether you would be able to provide some information to ensure our research provides a full picture as this will then inform options and recommendations into further actions.

I understand the information you provide will be limited to the West Midlands region and if we wish to get an overall national picture, then the same information will need to be requested from each service individually.

The information we would like to obtain is as follows:

  1. Number of fires attended to in the past 12 months (January 2017 – December 2017) which involved a commercial vehicle over 3.5 tonnes.
  2. Locations of those events
  3. Number of injuries / fatalities related to those events
  4. Causation factors related to those incidents


There were 24 fires in lorry/HGV in 2017.   We do not record whether the vehicle were commercial or over 3.5 tonnes, Information is record as “lorry/HGV”

There were 6 in Birmingham, 1 in Dudley, 5 in Sandwell, 4 in Solihull, 6 in Walsall, and 2 in Wolverhampton.

There was just one injured casualty.

The table below shows the breakdown of the cause (in bold) and the sources of ignition for each:


source of ignition / Cause count
Any heat source and combustibles brought together deliberately  
Lighted paper, rag or card, or other naked flame 1
Liquids; petrol / oil related 1
Careless handling  – due to careless disposal  
Smoking materials (cigarettes, cigars etc.) 1
Fault in equipment or appliance (incl. overheating)  
Electrical fault 7
Engine, fuel line or pump 1
Other non-electrical 1
Wheels or brakes 7
Faulty leads to equipment or appliance  
Electrical fault 1
Wiring, cabling, plugs 1
Other overheating  
Other 1
Wheels or brakes 2

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me.  Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications. If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision please write to The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW

Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following link: or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.