The N-VA calls for a total approach between the Brussels Region and the municipalities to reduce the number of residential fires. Figures requested by Brussels MP Mathias Vanden Borre showed that house fires in a problem in the capital are an ongoing one.
In 2020, there were no fewer than 983 residential fires in the region, with the municipalities of Brussels-City (181), Schaerbeek (99) and Molenbeek (89) as peaks. In 2021 there were 580 house fires, with Brussels City again leading the way (123), followed by Schaerbeek (56) and Anderlecht (50). For 2022, the counter is provisionally at 219 fires.
Vanden Borre sees a number of reasons for the high number of house fires in the Region. “Brussels has a large number of dilapidated, low-quality and vacant homes, causing the risk of fires to arise naturally,” said the MP.
“The report in the media also showed that squatters are often involved in house fires. That is not illogical either: squatters move into buildings that are not suitable for this, resulting in a fire risk.”
“The problem is that the squatting of buildings – nevertheless a user agreement on the property right – is already tolerated by the Brussels government”, says.
Finally, the fire service has no police authority and can therefore not check fire safety on the site on its own initiative. Fire services can carry out these executive tasks by the mayor, the mayor who is responsible for fire safety on his/her territory.
“The fragmented policy in Brussels as a result of many problems, including vacancy and degradation of homes, remains under the radar.”
Mathias Vanden Borre.