News

Fire and Rescue Statistics, Scotland, 2015-16

Published: 19 October 2016

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) released Fire and Rescue Statistics, Scotland, 2015-16 on 18 October 2016. The bulletin presents statistics on incidents, casualties and fatalities attended by SFRS in Scotland relating to April 2015 to March 2016.

Highlight figures show:

All incidents

Fires

Casualties

Non-fire incidents

False alarms

The full statistical publication and data tables, including Local Authority breakdowns, is available at www.firescotland.gov.uk/about-us/fire-and-rescue-statistics.aspx

New partnership helping UK fire services share knowledge and research

Published: 1 June 2016

The UK-based Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA), Fire Industry Association (FIA) and the Fire Service College (FSC), have come together to form a new research and development partnership. A joint memorandum of understanding, which was signed this month, clearly demonstrates each organisation’s commitment to collaborate around the future evaluation of Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) operational equipment.

The partnership will see joint research and evaluation, making it easier for Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) to share information and choose the most effective operational equipment.

Many of the UK Fire and Rescue Services currently need to undertake separate evaluation of operational equipment, this results in replication of costs for public sector, manufacturers and suppliers.

The recently created Research, Development, Technology and Innovation (RDTI) Hub situated at the Fire Service College at Moreton in Marsh in Gloucestershire will provide the venue for this unified activity going forward.

The Hub is part of the wider UK FRS Research and Development Function led by CFOA and supported by fire and rescue services across the United Kingdom. This national collaborative approach will enable services to access evaluations and information about operational equipment they may wish to use, share knowledge and learning more effectively, conduct academic research and reduce replication across the sector. This will result in financial savings and increased coordination across the fire and rescue services.

More information: www.fia.uk.com/news/new-partnership-helping-fire-services-share-knowledge-and-research.html

Fires and fire deaths down over five years (2011-2015)

Published: 1 June 2016

The total numbers of fires and fire deaths are down by over 20 per cent over the last five years new figures reveal.

Last year, a total of 36 people died from fire in the capital compared with 47 five years ago.

There were 20,770 fires in London last year down by a quarter on 2011/12.

However, London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson has warned against complacency.

Despite the downward five year trend, fire deaths are up on last year’s record low of 30 with deaths as a result of deliberate fires, which includes suicide, up to 11 this year compared with three in 2014/15.

For more information, illustration and map see www.london-fire.gov.uk/news/LatestNewsReleases_fires-and-fire-deaths-down-over-five-years.asp

London Fire Brigade renews appeal for Government to take action on dangerous white goods

Published: 25 May 2016

A fire in Harrow caused by a defective tumble dryer has prompted London Fire Brigade (LFB) to renew its campaign to make it easier for Londoners to find out whether their white goods have been recalled.

Beauticians in Harrow had a lucky escape when a tumble dryer in their salon on Kenton Road set on fire. Thankfully staff and customers were alerted by the shop’s fire alarm system and safely evacuated.

More information: www.london-fire.gov.uk/news/LatestNewsReleases_Brigaderenewsappealtotakeactionondangerouswhitegoods.asp

Article: Injury Risk and Noise Exposure in Firefighter Training Operations

Published: 11 April 2016

Richard L. Neitzel, Rachel N. Long, Kan Sun, Stephanie Sayler and Terry L. von Thaden

Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 2016, Vol. 60, No. 4, pp. 405-420

Abstract

Introduction: Firefighters have high rate of injuries and illnesses, as well as exposures to high levels of noise. This study explored the relationship between noise exposure and injury among firefighters.

Methods: We recruited firefighters undergoing vehicle extrication and structural collapse emergency response training at a highly realistic training facility. Demographics, health status, body mass index (BMI), and history of serious injuries (i.e. injuries requiring first aid treatment, treatment in a medical clinic or office, or treatment at a hospital) were assessed at baseline, and daily activities, injury events, and near misses were assessed daily via surveys. Participants’ noise exposures were monitored for one 24-h period using noise dosimeters. We used a mixed-effects logistic regression model to estimate the odds of injury events and near misses associated with noise exposure as an independent variable.

Results: Of 56 subjects, 20 (36%) reported that they had ever suffered a serious injury during firefighting activities, and 9 (16%) reported a serious injury within the past year. We estimated rates of 6.6 lifetime serious injuries per 100 FTE 16.1 serious injuries per 100 FTE within the past year. Our models indicated a significant increase in injury events and near misses among those with higher BMI, and as well as a dose–response relationship between near misses/injuries and increasing noise levels. Noise levels >90 dBA in the 30 min prior to time of injury or near miss were associated with substantially increased odds ratios for injury or near miss. Our models further indicated that perceived job demands were significantly associated with increased risk of injury or near miss.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that noise exposures may need to be incorporated into injury prevention programs for firefighters to reduce injuries among this high-risk occupational group.

Full Article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/annhyg/mev088

Event: CFOA Smart City Briefing – The role of the Fire and Rescue Service in the Smart City

Published: 11 April 2016

11 May 2016, Greater Manchester Fire Training Centre, Manchester, UK

In the latest in a series of topical briefings, this looks at the Smart City and considers why fire and rescue service leaders should be looking seriously at opportunities to influence developments which will have a long term impact on the delivery of services in the future.

The Smart City is part of a transformative change that is taking place in cities across the world. There is no one accepted definition, but the UK Government notes that the Smart City is a process, a series of steps by which cities become more liveable and resilient; and as a result are able to respond quicker to new challenges.

This is a citizen-centric approach, with service delivery improved through a strong emphasis on digital with the development of an intelligent physical infrastructure known as the Internet of Things (IOT). Transparency and openness, particularly around data are fundamental to the Smart City.

Against this backdrop, it is easy to see how fire and rescue services must be involved in this process (and indeed already are, but perhaps without the smart label being attributed) and influencing from the front, not following in its wake.

More information: http://cfoaservices.co.uk/cfoa-smart-city-briefing.html

Event: Safer Cities – New Thinking Required

Published: 11 April 2016

27 April 2016, 13:00 - 17:00, The Cavalry and Guards Club, 127 Piccadilly, London W1J 7PX

As global urban cities grow in population numbers, the strain on the national infrastructure continues to be tested. Businesses will begin to feel the strain as more pressure is placed on transportation, accommodation, office space, capital costs and emergency response. More people requiring more resource provision may well reveal infrastructure vulnerabilities and resilience and security concerns that will affect us all. This briefing identifies some of the most critical aspects of city growth and focuses on how this will impact on businesses in the UK and beyond. Whether it be the provision of skills, supply chain resilience, technological innovation, security planning, new threat challenges or critical partnerships; new thinking is required.

More information: http://csarn.myshopify.com/collections/events/products/copy-of-crisis-leadership

New HSE publications

Published: 22 March 2016

Please find below information on new HSE publications which may be of interest.

HSG176 – Storage of flammable liquids in tanks (Second edition)
This guidance applies to above and below ground fixed bulk storage tanks. It applies to premises where flammable liquids are stored in individual tanks or groups of tanks. The guidance has been updated to align with the recommendations of the Buncefield report.
HSG51 – Storage of flammable liquids in containers (Third edition)
This guidance is for those responsible for the safe storage of flammable liquids in containers at the workplace. The guidance now contains discrete topic areas which outline the potential risks and recommended control measures for a number of different types of business.
HSG140 – Safe use and handling of flammable liquids (Second edition)
This guidance explains the fire and explosion hazards associated with flammable liquids and will help you determine how to control the risks in your workplace. This revision incorporates information and cites relevant standards in relation to publications which have been withdrawn.

Advanced Principles of Fire Dynamics: 3-day course

Published: 9 March 2016

BRE Academy (UK), 31 May 2016 – 2 June 2016

A 3-day course aimed at fire engineers and fire investigators at the BRE Academy on 31 May 2016. The course is being presented by Dr James Quintiere and Mr Robert Schaal and it attracts 22.5 CPD hours with the IFE.

This programme includes presentations and experiments on the following topics:

www.fireinvestigationsuk.com/uncategorized/advanced-principles-of-fire-dynamics-a-3-day-course-at-the-bre-academy-uk-with-dr-james-quintiere-31-may-2016

The number of fires in Scotland falls

Published: 21 December 2015

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has released on 15 December 2015 the statistical bulletin Fire and Rescue Statistics, Scotland, 2014-15, presenting the latest statistics on fires, special service incidents, casualties and false alarms in Scotland.

The number of fires fell by 11 per cent in 2014-15, continuing the general downward trend of the last ten years. The latest figures report 25,002 fires in Scotland, down from 27,979 in 2013-14. This fall reflects an 18% decrease in the number of secondary outdoor fires (from 16,359 in 2013-14 to 13,398 in 2014-15). The number of fires attended in 2014-15 was the lowest in the last decade.

Figures show that:

The full statistical publication and data tables, including Local Authority breakdowns for 2013-14, is available at www.firescotland.gov.uk/about-us/fire-and-rescue-statistics.aspx

Kirsty Bosley, National Statistics and Analysis, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service | Tel: 0131 659 7247 | Mobile: 077 959 77000 | Email: Kirsty.Bosley@firescotland.gov.uk

Public consultation on the extension of the European statistical programme (ESP) – Deadline 15 October 2015

Published: 23 September 2015

Please find information about an important consultation currently underway within the European Union (EU) institution. The consultation is specifically seeking the views of data users and producers of European statistics. Many working in the fire industry will have noted the difficulties of comparing reliable or consistent fire statistics across the EU.

This makes it much harder to influence EU institutions as proposals cannot be supported by sound statistics. It also reduces the evidence base across member states that would allow any of our relevant professional sectors to be informed about best practice.

The consultation can be found at the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/about/opportunities/consultations/esp

The link will take you to an online form that is simple and quick to complete.

Anyone can respond whether as an individual or on behalf of an organisation. This is your chance to influence the outcome.

It might be worth remembering that the UK Depart for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) carried out research into EU Fire Statistics on: www.communities.gov.uk/documents/corporate/pdf/2159418.pdf

The main findings of this were that although there are a number of states collecting an extensive range of high quality data on fires, their causes and circumstances, fire statistics are not often compared across Europe. The report provides options on how to make comparisons of existing data and/or how to increase the consistency of data collected by states, while recognising the difficulties in doing this.

UK Pilots Advise Air Passengers to Carry Lithium Battery Operated Equipment in the Cabin

Published: 6 August 2015

UK pilots are asking airlines to advise passengers to carry laptops, phones, tablets, e-books and cameras with lithium batteries safely in the aircraft cabin to cut the risk of fires in the luggage hold.

Lithium batteries in everyday items are highly flammable and, when they short circuit, have a tendency to burst into high intensity fires, which are difficult to extinguish.

Passengers usually carry devices with lithium batteries in their hand baggage, although this isn’t required by airlines. Also a phone, laptop or camera may inadvertently end up in the hold when a passenger is asked at the last minute to put their hand baggage in the hold due to lack of space in the aircraft cabin.

BALPA is encouraging airlines and regulators to look at what steps they could take to ensure devices powered by lithium batteries are only carried in the aircraft cabin, where a build up of gases or fire can be tackled more easily. Passengers should also be provided with advice on how to pack spare batteries safely in their hand baggage.

Lithium battery fires have caused at least three cargo aircraft crashes and the UN safety regulator has banned a specific type of lithium battery (lithium metal) from being carried as cargo on passenger aircraft. BALPA is asking the UK safety regulator to consider extending this restriction to cargo and other aircraft so that no lithium battery of any kind is carried as cargo in aircraft until further research has been carried out on how they can be transported safely in bulk.

BALPA General Secretary Jim McAuslan said:

Lithium batteries power the technology that enables passengers, pilots and cabin crew to travel light and stay connected but they carry an aircraft fire risk that we must all protect against. UK pilots are always vigilant to emerging risks because we want to stop accidents before they happen and make every single flight a safe one.

Small changes to current good safety practices will help keep us all safe while enabling passengers and pilots to carry the phones, laptops, tablets and e-books they depend upon for work and pleasure. We want to work with airlines and passengers to keep everyday lithium batteries on the aircraft but out of the luggage hold.

www.balpa.org

Exploding e-cigarettes: Nationwide safety alert issued by fire authorities after fresh spate of home fires

Published: 14 July 2015

A nationwide safety alert is being issued by fire authorities after a “highly disturbing” spate of fires caused by dodgy e-cigarette chargers which explode.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents all 49 fire and rescue authorities in England and Wales, fears that these are the “tip of the iceberg” and many cases go unreported.

The LGA has called for e-cigarette manufacturers to do more to warn of the dangers. This includes displaying prominent safety warnings, highlighting this issue, on e-cigarette packaging. Fire chiefs say many blazes are taking place because some smokers are not using compatible chargers. This means too much current goes into the batteries and they overheat and eventually explode. Battery material shoots out – up to two to three metres in distance – and can cause a fire if it lands on anything combustible.

See more at: www.local.gov.uk/web/guest/media-releases/-/journal_content/56/10180/7386047/NEWS

West Midlands Fire Service hosting a free event

Published: 15 April 2015

A message further to the presentation at the LGA Conference: Proof that incident attendance times are critical to survivability PDF Document

The Fire and Rescue sector is in a time of change and transformation driven by the need to meet reducing budgets and the changing needs of the communities we serve. Like many Fire Services, West Midlands Fire Service believes in taking an evidence based approach to change and to our service provision through our prevention, protection and response activities.

Following on the presentation that Chief Fire Officer Phil Loach delivered recently at the LGA Fire Conference, West Midlands Fire Service will be hosting a free event on 27 April 2015 at Coventry University, UK.

The aim of this event is to look at academic research that informs and guides our Service Delivery Models. During the day, we will hear from a number of key note speakers who will share with us their academic research:

There will also be an opportunity for questions and answers, so that we can all take as much information as possible from subject matter experts, to assist us all to develop different but evidence based service provision models to meet the needs of our communities based upon risk. A timeline of a lounge fire which formed part of the recent LGA presentation.

We would also like to extend an invitation to you or a colleague to present and share any academic research that you may have undertaken along with the associated findings. We would ask for a short presentation, to be followed by questions from members of the audience and the panel of speakers, to help develop a greater understanding.

We hope that you will be able to join us at this free event and would be grateful if you could email Alison Newis at public.relations@wmfs.net or telephone – 0121 380 6102. An invitation is also extended for you to invite a colleague who you feel may benefit from attending.

If you would be interested in sharing your academic research on the day can we please ask that you provide a brief outline or the contact details, so that further information can be gathered for a finalised agenda.

Latest news from Fire Information Group (FIG UK) March 2015

Published: 8 April 2015

FIG UK March 2015 newsletter including abbreviated minutes.

Contains news, events and the forthcoming FIG UK Seminar to be held on 17 September 2015 at the Imperial Hotel, London.

Cancer rates among firefighters well above average

Published: 13 March 2015

Cancer rates among firefighters are well above average because of repeated exposure to deadly, toxic smoke, the European Fire Fighters Unions Alliance (EFFUA) has warned

The alliance of trade unions from 12 European countries is now urging the EU to introduce tough smoke toxicity regulations for construction materials, extra funding for research into the problem and additional resources for improving health training for firefighters.

“We chose this profession to save lives, but as a result of toxic chemicals we end up fighting for our own,” EFFUA President Mikael Svanberg told a European Parliament meeting of MEPs Against Cancer (MAC). “I’m tired of going to the funerals of colleagues who have died too young as a result of cancer.”

Centred specifically around the issue of cancer rates among firefighters the discussion was co-organised by Fire Safe Europe (FSEU) and the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL).

“The cancer rate amongst firefighters is shocking and I don’t see why this issue has not been addressed yet. It is time to take action both on EU level and Member States,” said meeting chairman and Czech Republic MEP Pavel Poc.

Swedish firefighter and cancer survivor Anders Cederberg told MEPs: “I was diagnosed with occupational cancer in 2011 after 29 years as a firefighter. The prognosis is good, but no fire fighter should endure what my family and I had to endure.”

Alex Forrest, Canadian trustee at the International Association of Fire Fighters, said that a recent study by Monash University in Melbourne had found overall cancer rates were elevated among Australian firefighters compared to the general public.

“This is a concern that impacts fire fighters all over the world,” he said. “It is not one fire that is killing us; it is the hundreds we are exposed to during our career.

“The issue of occupational exposure to these deadly chemicals needs to be addressed.”

Fridge freezer delay putting lives at risk – London Fire Brigade

Published: 13 March 2015

We are calling for fridge freezer manufacturers to act now to make their products safer. More than one fridge freezer fire a week!

Despite seven deaths and 71 serious injuries in London since 2010, we believe most manufacturers are still dragging their heels on making fire safety improvements.

There is, on average, one fridge freezer fire a week in the capital and we have been lobbying the industry to make their fridges and freezers more fire resistant for the last three and a half years.

What’s the problem with them?

Fridges and freezers are of particular concern to us because they contain large amounts of plastic and highly flammable insulation, which, if ignited, can cause large, rapidly developing fires that spread quickly, giving off highly toxic gases.

The doors and side panels of most fridges and freezers are usually covered in metal but we are concerned that many still use a flammable plastic backing which offers very little protection against the highly flammable insulation catching alight if a fire starts.

What we want to see happen

We are calling on the industry to ensure the backs of fridge freezers are made of non combustible or fire retardant materials as standard.

What we say

London Fire Brigade Deputy Commissioner Rita Dexter said: “Every home has a fridge or freezer and the chances are it will be plugged in and working safely for years but it is no exaggeration to say that they are potentially the most dangerous household appliances if they are involved in a fire.

“They contain large amounts of highly flammable foam insulation, often only protected by a thin plastic covering. This can be a recipe for disaster if a fault occurs or if a fire spreads from somewhere else to the fridge or freezer. They are also one of the few electrical items in your home to be always left on and these fires pose an even greater risk if they start when people are sleeping.

“Putting a simple non-combustible or fire retardant covering at the back of appliances is a relatively simple change that manufacturers can make and one that we believe would reduce the number of injuries, and potentially deaths, caused by fires involving fridges and freezers.”

The tragic death of Santosh Benjamin Muthiah

The issue hit the headlines in September 2014 at the inquest into the death of Santosh Benjamin Muthiah from Harrow who lost his life in a house fire which originated in a fridge freezer. After the hearing, following a submission from London Fire Brigade, the Coroner reported on the serious risk posed to the safety of consumers by the lack of any requirement to use non-flammable materials to protect the highly flammable insulation from ignition.

Shocking footage

Shocking footage filmed by the Brigade at the BRE testing facility clearly shows the dangers of having a fridge or freezer with a flammable plastic backing.

In a controlled burn test the plastic backed fridge freezer was well alight after just 90 seconds and had to be extinguished after just two and a half minutes as the fire was starting to overwhelm the testing room, while the fire set in the metal backed appliance, never really took hold, and burned for about 20 minutes before self extinguishing.

Here’s how a metal backed fridge performed in comparison

If you think there may be a problem with any of your refrigeration appliances our advice is to always unplug it and to contact the manufacturer or a qualified repair technician. You can also check if an electrical product is subject to a recall by looking at this database.

Finally ensure you have a smoke alarm, check regularly that it works and plan how you would get out in the event of a fire.

www.london-fire.gov.uk/news/LatestNewsReleases_Fridgefreezerdelayputtinglivesatrisk.asp

International Human Behaviour in Fire Symposium

Published: 25 February 2015

Monday, 28 September – Wednesday, 30 September 2015 – Cambridge, UK

The Programme Committee for the International Human Behaviour in Fire Symposium are pleased to announce that the 6th symposium in the series will, once again, take place at the prestigious campus of Downing College in Cambridge, UK.

Downing College has a unique and magnificent setting amid 20 acres of lawns and trees, yet is in the very centre of Cambridge, (just 5 minutes walk from cafes, restaurants and shops of Market Square).

The symposium will be housed in the new Howard Theatre and Howard Buildings surrounding a sunken garden connected by covered walkways. The auditorium has seats crafted from the finest Italian leather and state of the art AV facilities. Break-out rooms, refreshment and poster areas all enjoy the same high standard of facilities.

Accommodation at the College is grouped around the conference complex so delegates only have a short walk to the lecture theatre or the Delegate Lounge, reception, bar and refreshment area. Bedrooms are of a very high standard and we would encourage delegates to stay at the College to make the most of the collegiate atmosphere.

The City of Cambridge is one of the most important and beautiful in the country, famous throughout the world for its university and colleges. Cambridge is a compact cosmopolitan city with outstanding architecture both old and new but retains the ambience of a historic medieval town, yet it is the birthplace of some of the most recent scientific advances.

Further details from the Conference Organisers: Interscience Communications Ltd, West Yard House, Guildford Grove, London SE10 8JT, UK | Tel +44 (0)208 692 5050 | +44 (0)208 692 5155 | Email: office@intersciencecomms.co.uk

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Fire Safety and Organisational Statistics, Scotland, 2013-14

Published: 24 February 2015

Statistical bulletin providing information on the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. Topics covered include Home Fire Safety Visits, Stations, Equipment, Workforce and Attacks on Personnel at Incidents.

ISBN: 9781785441349

www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/02/9404

FIM Expo 2015 Goes to Wales

Published: 19 February 2015

The UK Fire Industry Manufacturers’ (FIM) Expo is heading to Wales this Spring with a one-day stop on Wednesday, 15th April 2015 at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

Organised by the Fire Industry Association (FIA), FIM Expo features many of the UK’s leading fire detection and alarm manufacturers and focuses on showcasing the latest products and developments in this sector of the industry.

With around 20 exhibitors, FIM Expo is for anyone working in this area, whether as an installer or maintainer of fire detection and alarm systems, a manager of such systems in commercial premises or as an architect or person specifying what type of fire protection systems should be installed in a building.

The event is a road-show that travels around the UK, providing an intimate forum for networking as well as finding out what’s new in fire detection. It is designed to give delegates access to all the key manufacturers in one location on one day.

As well as the exhibitor stands the FIA will be providing two complimentary seminars. First seminar will focus on the BS 5266 Emergency Lighting which aims to give all those involved in the process of design, maintaining, providing and installing of Emergency Lighting systems an overview of the standards and items that must be taken into consideration when dealing with Emergency Lighting systems. The second seminar will focus on Visual Alarm Devices & BS EN 54-23.

FIM Expo is open from 09.00 to 16.00 on Wednesday, 15th April 2015 and is free to attend.

www.fim-expo.com

Annual Conference on Fire-Related Research and Developments (RE15) – Call for Proposals

Published: 2 February 2015

This event is taking place on Thursday, 12 November 2015 at the Fire Service College, Moreton in Marsh.

Please note that Thursday, 30 April 2015 is the closing date for the submission of presentation proposals. Early expressions of interest are welcome.

More information: www.ife.org.uk/Events/Re15Annual-Conference-Fire-Related-Research-and-Developments-/23902

Launch of first ever comprehensive research into behaviour during fires in the home

Published: 19 January 2015

An innovative research project has been launched that for the first time will provide a comprehensive insight into how people behave when confronted with a fire in their home and the reasons behind their behaviour.

The research project – LIFEBID – involves nine fire and rescue services across the South East and the University of Greenwich – and next year will be rolled out as a national project.

The project began in 2009 when Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) began to undertake in-depth research with people who had been involved in fires in the home. The initial research produced challenging findings about human behaviour in fires and this prompted a decision to widen the work. KFRS developed a research partnership with the University of Greenwich and were successful in achieving funding for extending the project, initially across the South East (involving fire and rescue services in Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, East Sussex, West Sussex, Buckinghamshire, Royal Berkshire, Oxfordshire and the Isle of Wight) and next year nationally. The Chief Fire Officers Association is also backing the research. The survey will form the first ever national database identifying human behaviour during fires in the home.

Prof Ed Galea (Lead Academic) said: “From an academic perspective this is an area about which very little is known and yet has enormous importance and value. We have seen a lot of interest in this project both here in the UK and from international colleagues.”

Ann Millington, Chief Executive of Kent Fire and Rescue Service said: “Having a better understanding of the public’s reaction when confronted with a fire at home will give fire and rescue services a valuable insight into what we need to do to keep people safe. I know fire and rescue services across the UK are very interested in this project and are keen to see the outcomes and how they can be put into practice.”

The survey is designed to be completed by people who have directly experienced a fire in the home, whether they needed to call the fire service or not. The survey is online at www.lifebid.co.uk and local arrangements are in place to support anyone without internet access.

Jason Thelwell (CFOA lead officer for research), said: “We are very pleased to reach this important stage of the project and are working with the LIFEBID team to support its continued development. LIFEBID is a very welcome way to ensure we can systematically capture individual experiences of fires in the home and then apply the findings to strategic thinking and planning.”

The LIFEBID project has been awarded just under £200,000 through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership scheme, including funding by Innovate UK (Technology Strategy Board) and the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council. www.ktponline.org.uk

The South East region comprises Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, East Sussex, West Sussex, Buckinghamshire, Royal Berkshire, Oxfordshire and the Isle of Wight. A national pilot of the survey will begin in November 2014 with the full national launch of the survey planned for March 2015.

The survey includes two key and innovative research developments, a new method to help capture people’s perceptions of the fire conditions and an interactive timeline. Further information for the LIFEBID project including details about the project team and publications etc. can be found at www.lifebid.co.uk

Latest Scottish Fire Statistics

Published: 19 January 2015

Scottish statistical bulletin Fire and Rescue Statistics, Scotland, 2013-14 (formerly Fire Statistics, Scotland) was recently published by Scottish Government, presenting the latest statistics on fires, special service incidents, casualties and false alarms in Scotland. Figures show that:

The statistical and ministerial news releases can be viewed at https://news.gov.scot/news/dwelling-fire-numbers-continue-to-fall and https://news.gov.scot/news/fire-deaths-at-record-low

The full statistical publication and associated data tables are available at www.gov.scot/Resource/0046/00466202.pdf

The statistics in this publication cover the first year following the establishment of the SFRS. As such, this is the first year that the publication includes statistics at Local Authority level, in place of former FRS level breakdowns.

The Fire Industry Association (FIA) Reports Growth Year by Year

Published: 30 December 2014

This year FIA’s AGM took place at the 8 Northumberland Avenue in London on 11th November.

The Association announced that it had welcomed 106 new members into the organisation over the past 12 months and that its total membership now stands at 655.

At the AGM the FIA reported that:

Speaking about the event Graham Ellicott, FIA CEO has said: “The Fire Industry Association continues to go from strength to strength. Looking forward we shall continue to focus on raising the standard of competence and quality throughout the sector paying particular attention to the needs of the end user”.

The sell-out event was attended by 380 members and guests and provided the opportunity to network and catch up in addition to learning more about how the Association has been representing its members in the industry over the past 12 months.

This year the FIA has published its new look Annual Report along with an animated video of its highlights that was first played at the FIA’s AGM.

The report can be downloaded from the FIA website at www.fia.uk.com or watched at the FIA’s YouTube channel.

Event: Developing Evidence-based Responses to Vulnerability in Society

Published: 23 October 2014

17 February 2015, Riverside Innovation Centre, University of Chester, UK

The University of Chester is offering a series of keynote Evidence Informed Public Policy lectures and symposia exploring the development of inter-disciplinary evidence-based, outcomes-focused research across the education and the public services.

The first symposium in the series focuses on policy development in the delivery of preventative and protective services in the area of civil emergencies, (routine and infrequent) arising from manmade or natural events and confirmed contributors include:

Contact: Emma Godding, Administrator / Researcher, Tel: 01244 511712, Email: e.godding@chester.ac.uk

RE14 Conference Programme and Delegate Information

Published: 1 September 2014

Details of the forthcoming Conference Programme covering the latest Fire-Related Research and Developments (RE14), to be held at the Fire Service College on 13 November 2014, have been published.

Presentation themes this year include: National Operational Guidance for incident command (keynote presentation); fire safety; fire protection and building design; firefighter situational awareness and operational response; fire-setting and arson intervention, and firefighter resilience, support and rehabilitation.

More information: www.ife.org.uk/Events/Fire-Related-Research-and-Developments-RE14/17474

New Publication from BRE

Published: 11 July 2014

External fire spread: Building separation and boundary distances (BR 187, 2nd edition, 16 June 2014) by Richard Chitty

While the risk of fire spread between buildings cannot be eliminated completely, the aim of calculating building separation distances is to ensure that ignition of a building adjacent to a fire is sufficiently delayed to allow the Fire Service to arrive on site and take preventative action. This new June 2014 edition of BR 187, in support of national building regulations, describes methods for calculating adequate space separation between buildings. Several sections, including flame projection from windows, have been expanded. Specifically, this new edition – June 2014:

In addition, the development of boundary distance requirements in the building regulations since World War II is described due to its relevance to redevelopment of sites containing existing buildings.

For more information and to purchase: www.brebookshop.com/details.jsp?id=327394

Latest Scottish Fire Statistics

Published: 20 November 2013

The latest Fire Statistics published by the Scottish Government:

ASFP Parliamentary Seminar

Published: 4 November 2013

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) is holding a Parliamentary Seminar on 4 December 2013, in conjunction with the Fire Sector Federation and the All Party Parliamentary Fire & Rescue Group. Understanding Fire Safety in Buildings will consider issues that affect fire safety within the modern built environment and investigate how to ensure that appropriate fire protection is designed, specified, installed and maintained throughout the life of a building.

The one-day seminar, including lunch in the Cholmondeley Room of the House of Lords can be booked for £175 plus VAT. View the programme PDF Document or book online. For booking queries contact Sally Young, email sally@sequenceofevents.co.uk or Tel: 01707 648587

ASFP Regional CPD seminars

Published: 4 November 2013

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) held the first in a series of regional CPD seminars in Manchester on 26 September 2013. The sell-out event attracted over 130 delegates from across the North West and beyond.

Held in association with the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue, the event received universal praise from the audience for providing essential advice on all aspects of passive fire protection; its specification, installation, inspection and maintenance.

Aimed at improving awareness of passive fire protection, Understanding Passive Fire Protection, offered presentations from technical experts from across the fire sector, including the ASFP, BWF, Glass and Glazing Federation and the fire service. It covered all aspects of passive fire protection, including an overview of risks in buildings in relation to passive fire protection; and introductions to fire doors, fire-resistant glazing, structural fire protection, compartment wall penetrations and firestopping.

The events are suitable for anyone who is responsible for specifying or inspecting passive fire protection or those appointing trades that could cause damage to existing fire protection in the process of their work. They should particularly appeal to practising Fire Risk Assessors, Responsible Persons, Local Authorities, Facilities Managers, Building Control, and Care Home Providers.

Upcoming events include:

Further events are planned in Birmingham, Scotland, Belfast and Dublin.

ASFP releases new fire door video for FDSW

Published: 4 November 2013

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) has released a new online video module on fire doors to mark Fire Door Safety Week (FDSW) held in September 2013. The free to view video explains the vital role played by fire doors in holding back flames and smoke during a fire and describes the typical features that should be considered when checking that a door is correctly installed and maintained.

UK Statistics User Engagement Day

Published: 29 October 2013

25 November 10:00 – 16:45, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London, SW1E 5DU, UK

Do you have an opinion on the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) statistics? Are you willing to share it? If so we want to hear from you.

Our user engagement day is your opportunity find out more about the Department’s statistical products, to tell us what you think of them and how you use them.

The day will start with key note speakers followed by a series of three parallel sessions on the different areas of statistics that DCLG produces – including housing, planning, local government finance, fire and deprivation. In each one there will be opportunity to find out more, discuss and provide feedback. This will help us inform our future work programme and ensure we make the best use of our resources.

The event is free, but you must be registered to attend. Please register using the following link which also asks you to indicate which talks you would like to attend in each parallel session https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7W2RSWC. Registration is required by 15 November 2013. Programme of the day PDF Document

Early registration is advised as places are limited.

Any queries should be sent to Stats.Engagement@communities.gsi.gov.uk

Joss Bass
Statistician

US EPA Evaluates Flame Retardants Including a Safer Substitute for HBCD

Published: 30 September 2013

As part of its ongoing efforts to promote the design and use of safer chemicals, today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a draft report on alternatives to a flame retardant chemical, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), which has persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic characteristics.

The findings in the report can help manufacturers identify safer alternatives to the use of HBCD in polystyrene building insulation.

“While EPA continues to support much needed reform of the Toxics Substances Control Act (TSCA), EPA is taking steps now to address the public’s concern with certain flame retardant chemicals, including making information available to companies to help them make decisions on safer chemicals,” said Jim Jones, EPA’s assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “The conclusions in this report are enabling companies who choose to move away from HBCD to do so with confidence that the potential for unintended consequences is minimized.”

The Design for the Environment (DfE) Alternatives Assessment draft report, developed with stakeholder and public participation, describes the uses of HBCD with an overview of life cycle and exposure information. The report identifies two viable chemical alternatives for use in polystyrene building insulation, in addition to a list of substances that are not currently expected to be viable. One of the alternatives, a butadiene styrene brominated copolymer, is anticipated to be safer than HBCD and is currently in commercial production in the U.S. Alternative materials are also identified in the report.

In March 2013, as part of a broader effort to address flame retardant chemicals, EPA identified 20 flame retardants for risk assessment under the TSCA work plan. This includes developing full risk assessments on four of these chemicals, including HBCD. EPA will use the information from these full assessments to better understand chemicals with similar structures and characteristics. If EPA identifies potential risks, the agency will evaluate and pursue appropriate risk reduction actions. EPA will begin development of these risk assessments later this year and anticipates making the draft risk assessments available for public comment and peer review in 2014.

To further assist companies in selecting safer chemicals, EPA recently launched ChemView, a web-based tool designed to provide the public and decision-makers with a single access point to a wide array of chemical data, like the results of the HBCD alternatives assessment, that can help companies make decisions on developing and using safer chemicals in the products they manufacture.

A copy of the draft HBCD report can be found at: www.epa.gov/saferchoice/partnership-evaluate-flame-retardant-alternatives-hbcd-publications

Information on EPA’s planned risk assessments on flame retardants can be found at: www.epa.gov/saferchoice/partnership-evaluate-flame-retardant-alternatives-hbcd

ChemView can be accessed at: www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/introduction-chemview

Fire Industry Association Releases Guidance Document on Fire Safety Signs and Notices

Published: 13 August 2013

In an effort to make fire safety and notices more easily understood to both the fire trade and members of the public, the Fire Industry Association (FIA) is pleased to announce the release of a new Guidance Document on Fire Safety Signs and Notices, available to download for free on www.fia.uk.com

The Guide has been launched to help building managers, facility managers, duty holders, responsible persons and FIA members understand what is required and gives examples of what signs should be used.

Fire safety signs should be reviewed periodically to ensure they continue to support the fire safety strategy for the premises.

The guidance is divided into two parts:

The Fire Exit and Escape Route Signs section explains what duty holder should look out for. For example all evacuation signs should be conspicuous and legible within the environment.

The guide also explains why the size of graphical symbols is so important.

Examples of escape route signs which are standardised to ensure that exit is intuitive and efficient are also included.

The Other Fire Safety Signs and Notices section presents the legal requirements for fire safety information. Including:

The Guide also covers the standards that signs should meet. The design, position and location of the fire safety signs should conform to BS EN ISO 7010 and BS 5499 parts 4 and 10 respectively.

US EPA Warns Against Use of Refrigerant Substitutes That Pose Fire and Explosion Risk

Published: 5 July 2013

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is warning homeowners, propane manufacturers and sellers, home improvement contractors and air conditioning technicians of potential safety hazards related to the use of propane or other unapproved refrigerants in home air conditioning systems.

EPA is currently investigating instances where propane has been marketed and used as a substitute for HCFC-22 (R-22), a refrigerant that is widely used in home air conditioning systems.

Home air conditioning systems are not designed to handle propane or other similar flammable refrigerants. The use of these substances poses a potential fire or explosion hazard for homeowners and service technicians.

EPA is aware of incidents that have occurred both overseas and in the U.S. where individuals have been injured as a result of the use of propane and other unapproved refrigerants in air conditioning systems. We are investigating and will take enforcement actions where appropriate. Other names for these unapproved refrigerants include R-290, 22a, 22-A, R-22a, HC-22a, and CARE 40.

At this time, EPA has not approved the use of propane refrigerant or other hydrocarbon refrigerants in any type of air conditioner. Homeowners and technicians are strongly recommended to limit use of propane or other hydrocarbons to only those appliances specifically designed for these substances and that are properly marked to alert technicians that the equipment contains a flammable substance. EPA has approved the use of propane as a substitute refrigerant for R-22 in industrial process refrigeration systems and in new, stand-alone retail food refrigerators and freezers that are specifically designed to use flammable hydrocarbon refrigerants.

R-22 is being phased out of production and importation under the Montreal Protocol, an environmental treaty ratified by every country in the world designed to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of ozone depleting substances. EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program has already listed numerous refrigerants with improved environmental, health and safety profiles and continues to evaluate other refrigerants that can be used to replace R-22 and other ozone-depleting substances.

More information about the EPA’s SNAP program: www.epa.gov/ozone/snap

More information about R-22a and alternatives for air conditioning: www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/r22a.html

IFPO Technical Trophy Competition 2013

Published: 3 July 2013

Institute of Fire Prevention Officers (IFPO), sponsored by Hochiki Europe Limited and supported by Sheila Pantry Associates Limited.

The Institute of Fire Prevention Officers, an international fire prevention and fire safety Institute, is pleased to announce the annual IFPO Technical Trophy Competition, sponsored by Hochiki Europe Ltd, a company distinguished by the experience and expertise of more than 80 years as one of the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of industrial fire detection products. The competition is for the best Technical Paper or Essay, or Power Point Presentation on any fire related subject by an individual.

The winner will receive:

Entry subjects

To enable participants to formulate an entry, the following subjects are given as a guide.

  1. The Investigation of Fire?
  2. Fire and Disability?
  3. The Improvement of Fire Safety Training?
  4. Fire Equipment – is it just capital Expenditure on the wall?
  5. Fire Risk Assessment?
  6. Fire Prevention Education?

A copy of the General Rules of the Competition is below.

The closing date for entries is Friday 20th September 2013.

The competition is for the best submission by an individual of a technical paper or essay, or Power Point Presentation, on any fire related subject; fire engineering, fire prevention or fire science. It is sponsored by Hochiki Europe Ltd and supported by Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd.

The competition is open to any individual employed in the fire safety industry or to members of the general public with an interest in fire safety, and entries are not restricted to residents in the UK, the Competition is open to entries Worldwide.

Submissions from entrants fewer than 18 years of age at the submission closing date must be accompanied by written consent from a parent or legal guardian.

Submissions must be in English, be no longer than 5,000 words and may be accompanied by diagrams or photographs. However, the judges reserve the right to reject any submission that contains excessive or unwarranted use of brand names.

There is no limit to the number of papers that an entrant may submit.

Papers can be submitted as hardcopy by mail, or can be emailed. The submission must be headed IFPO Technical Trophy Competition. Neither the Institute of Fire Prevention Officers; nor Hochiki (Europe) Ltd Limited; nor Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd, can be held responsible for the safe arrival of submissions; regrettably, it will not be possible to confirm safe receipt of submissions or return submissions (including photographs and diagrams).

Submissions should be typed at on white A4 paper. Pages should be numbered, and the last page must also include the entrant’s full postal address, email address, and daytime and evening telephone numbers.

The closing date for entries to be received by the Institute of Fire Prevention Officers is Friday, September 20th 2013.

Postal submissions should be addressed to: IFPO DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING, 117 RAVENOR PARK ROAD, GREENFORD, MIDDLESEX.UB6 9QZ, UK

Email Submissions to: john.stolworthy@btinternet.com

Rules

Entrants are responsible for obtaining any permission that may be necessary regarding the taking or inclusion of photographs, diagrams or the content of his or her paper or papers, and submissions will be accepted on the understanding that the entrant has sole ownership of the photographs or diagrams, or has obtained in writing any required permissions, and must state the author’s references for any material they use which is not their own.

By submitting a paper, the entrant is agreeing to indemnify both the Institute of Fire Prevention Officers, Hochiki Europe Limited and Sheila Pantry Associates Limited of any potential claims or resultant actions arising from (but not limited to) breach of copyright, and that any legal action brought will revert to the entrant.

Entrants assign his or her own copyright to any submissions jointly to the Institute of Fire Prevention Officers, Hochiki Europe Limited and Sheila Pantry Associates Limited.

Any submissions, including the winner’s details and photograph, may be used by all the organisations at any time following the competition. Details of the winning submission will be included in an appropriate edition of Fire Safety Professional magazine.

The Institute’s Annual General Meeting will take place in London on 14th November 2013 and the winner will be notified in writing at least four weeks prior to the meeting. However, the winner must be prepared to travel to the event to receive the award entirely at his or her own expense.

A panel of judges will decide on the winning submission and the judges’ decision is final. This panel will comprise members of the Institute’s Executive Council who will recommend the winner to the Directors of Hochiki Europe Limited. Only the winner will be notified.

The competition is not open to employees, past or present, or family members of Hochiki Europe Limited, or to Executive Council members or elected officers of the Institute of Fire Prevention Officers.

The Organisers and Sponsors of this Competition operate an Equal Opportunities Policy.

The Organisers, Sponsors and Supporters of this competition are:

The Winning Entry for 2012 was a paper on Forest Fire Detection Systems by Struan Macgregor, Student at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa.

FIA-2013 New Technology Showcase – Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Published: 28 June 2013

There is still time to book a place at the fourth New Technology Showcase event.

This annual event will consist of FIA member companies presenting and displaying a mixture of new products and ideas.

This day is open to FIA members, non FIA members and anyone with an interest in Fire Protection, this could also include insurers, Building facilities managers, architects and Fire Risk assessors.

The products on show cover a wide range of fire protection products and should be of interest to those companies and individuals involved in all aspects of fire protection.

Delegates can attend for the whole day or choose from the wide selection of seminars and exhibitors we have on offer and arrive at their convenience.

Location:

FIA Office, Tudor House, Kingsway Business Park, Oldfield Road, Hampton, Middlesex, TW12 2HD

Costs:

More information:

www.fia.uk.com/en/Events/Details/index.cfm/2013%20New%20Technology%20Showcase

Contact:

Michael Gregg, Sales Manager, Fire Industry Association (FIA) | Tel: +44 (0)20 3166 5002 | Email: mgregg@fia.uk.com | www.fia.uk.com

National Fire Sprinkler Network (NFSN) issues a response from Ronnie King to Eric Pickles

Published: 5 June 2013

National Fire Sprinkler Network (NFSN) issues a response from Ronnie King to Eric Pickles’ Statement on Welsh Measure in installing automatic fire sprinklers to save lives, burns and injuries from fire

Ronnie King OBE, O.St. J, QFSM, F.i.Fire E, a former Chief Fire Officer in Mid & West Wales and now Hon. Administrative Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety & Rescue Group, and Vice Chairman of the National Fire Sprinkler Network, speaks out in condemnation of DCLG Secretary of State, the Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles MP, for his attack on the Welsh Government’s Housing Policies, and in particular for his negative remarks about automatic fire sprinklers in saving lives, burns and injuries from fire, whilst reducing property damage and protecting the Environment.

Full text of the letter: www.bafsa.org.uk/pdfs/news/8/00001268.pdf PDF icon

Facing the Future: Findings from the review of efficiencies and operations in fire and rescue authorities in England

Published: 17 May 2013

by Sir Ken Knight CBE QFSM FIFireE

Department for Communities and Local Government, May 2013, ISBN: 978-1-4098-3887-6, 79 pages

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/facing-the-future

Ten care home fires a week prompts London Fire Brigade sprinklers call

Published: 25 April 2013

New figures released by London Fire Brigade reveal that there are more than ten fires a week in the capital’s care homes and sheltered accommodation.

Fire chiefs say the shocking statistics serve as a stark reminder as to why sprinklers should be installed in this type of accommodation and demonstrate why reducing the number of fires in care homes and sheltered housing is a priority for the Brigade.

At the moment, the Brigade believes that the vast majority of care homes and sheltered accommodation in the capital are not fitted with these potentially life saving devices.

Last year (2012/13) saw 540 fires in care homes and sheltered accommodation – the majority housing older people – with two people dying and 26 people injured as a result.

London Fire Brigade Deputy Commissioner Rita Dexter said: “Older people, as well as people with mental health problems and those with mobility issues, are the group most at risk from fire and we are concerned by the number of vulnerable people like this who are still harmed or killed by fire in places where they should be safe.

“That’s why we want to see all residential care homes fitted with sprinklers. The number and regularity of care home fires that the Brigade attends is clear evidence that builders, developers, local authorities and private providers need to stop ignoring their benefits.”

The latest figures from the Care Quality Commission show there are around 900 care homes for older people or older people and other vulnerable groups in London.

The Brigade believes that sprinklers are a potentially life saving tool that can be effective in stopping fires from spreading and putting them out quickly. By doing this they can also help reduce the numbers of deaths and injuries from fire, particularly in buildings occupied by people with reduced mobility. They also reduce the risks to firefighters.

In Scotland there is already a requirement within Building Standards for all new build residential care buildings to have sprinkler systems installed and London Fire Brigade believes there should be the same level of protection in London.

London Fire Brigade’s Draft Fifth London Safety Plan, which sets out how the Brigade will work over the next three years, includes a target to reduce fires in care homes and sheltered housing by three per cent by March 2016. It also includes a commitment to campaign and promote opportunities for councils and housing providers to provide sprinklers as a cost effective way of saving property and protecting the lives of residents most at risk from fire.

The table below shows the number of care home and sheltered accommodation fires in London and the resulting fire related injuries and deaths over the last five years.

Year Incidents Fire deaths Fire-related injuries

2008/09

541

3

52

2009/10

500

4

33

2010/11

477

4

40

2011/12

476

1

47

2012/13*

540

2

26

*preliminary data

About the Draft Fifth London Safety Plan

Consultation on the Draft Fifth London Safety Plan began on Monday 4 March 2013 and is set to end on Monday 17 June 2013.
Members of the public can take part in the consultation at www.london-fire.gov.uk/lsp5.asp, or by calling 0800 9888 569, by writing to the London Fire Brigade at 169 Union Street, London, SE1 0LL.

Public meetings are being held which cover every London borough. Members of the public are invited to attend the meetings to hear about the proposals and have their say. Details of the meetings can be found on the London Fire Brigade’s website: www.london-fire.gov.uk

The draft Plan outlines a wide range of policies and measures which are intended to improve the safety of Londoners.

Request for Expressions of Interest – Economic Cost of Fire Study

Published: 22 April 2013

The Fire Sector Federation would like to bring to your attention an Open Request for Expressions of Interest PDF to conduct research to develop a new Economic Cost of Fire Model.

The document explains how this new model might expand the current Government model.

At this stage the Federation wishes to explore with other parties how best to undertake this research and introduction of a new Model, discussing feasibility of approaches, alternative ideas, constraints and limitations, etc., as well as costs.

The desired outcome after discussion and agreement between Federation members would be to appoint a contractor to undertake the research.

The project is being led by the Fire Brigades Union on behalf of the Federation.

If this is an area of interest or not a response by 1 May 2013 would be helpful and please feel free to circulate to those who may be interested.

Dennis Davis
firstfirecall@aol.com

Steven Torrie appointed as HM Chief Inspector of the new Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

Published: 4 April 2013

Steven Torrie has been appointed as HM Chief Inspector of the new Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Roseanna Cunningham announced.

Mr Torrie, the current HM Chief Inspector of the eight existing services, was successful at a recent open competition to appoint an Inspector for the new single service.

Mr Torrie has been in his current role since November 2010 and advised Ministers during the fire reform process. He will be appointed for a further three years from 1 May 2013 and will lead the HM Inspectorate towards a new independent scrutiny function.

As HM Chief Inspector of the SFRS, Mr Torrie will be responsible for planning and leading an annual programme of inspections to provide public assurance about the quality and effectiveness of the new single service. In addition he will provide independent support to the Service and on-going advice to Ministers.

Saved from the Flames

A History of the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire (SPLF) by Roger Willoughby and John Wilson

Published: 1 April 2013

There have been earlier accounts of the SPLF and its history but none as complete as Saved from the Flames, by Roger Willoughby and John Wilson. It provides a detailed description of the establishment and development of the Society and the characters involved but its particular strength is its account of the various types of the Society’s medals and the long listings of their recipients.

The Society has had a long and varied history since 1836:

Indeed, the Society’s Trustees will soon be considering Case No. 26,919! They applaud the publication of Saved from the Flames, they are delighted that it documents so well the Society’s story, and they congratulate the authors on their 7 years’ research and diligence.

In 2013 the Society is more determined than ever to pursue its principal objective, the recognition of individuals who perform acts of bravery – spontaneous heroism – in rescuing others from fire. It is pleased to record that, in the year to November 2012, the SPLF made awards to 68 fire rescue heroes.

Saved from the Flames
A History of the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire
A4 format, printed cover on boards, pp. xii + 412, 144 tone illustrations, 6 tables. Price £45.00

Saved from the Flames is available from Token Publishing, Orchard House, Duchy Road, Heathpark, Honiton, Devon EX14 1YD | www.tokenpublishing.com

The Society for the Protection of Life from Fire
Established 1836. Registered Charity No. 207820
c/o 15 Mallow Close, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 5GA | Tel: 01403 258889 | Email: secretary@splf.org.uk | www.splf.org.uk

Contents

Foreword

Acknowledgements

Section I. The Society, its origins and history

  1. Fire-fighting and fire rescues
  2. The initial formation of the Society
  3. Reorganisation of the Society
  4. The greatest conductor
  5. The years of growth
  6. Farewell to the conductors
  7. Trying to regroup
  8. Making a modern humane society

Section II. The recognition of bravery

  1. The Society’s awards
  2. Medals
  3. Watches
  4. Testimonials and certificates
  5. Pecuniary awards

Section III. Roll of principal awards (medals and watches)

Appendices

  1. Known medals
  2. Conductors
  3. Rules for conductors (February 1864)
  4. Fire-escape stations (January 1867)
  5. The Society’s archives
  6. References
  7. Indexes

Recipients

Places

Lakanal House fire, London verdict results

Published: 31 March 2013

The inquest into the Lakanal House fire in the London borough of Southwark on 3 July 2009 began on 14 January and ended on 28 March 2013. The inquest was held at the Lambeth Assembly Hall, Acre Lane, Brixton.

Read the verdicts into the deaths of six people and the Coroner’s recommendations.

You can also read the daily transcripts of the proceedings.

A document with questions and answers about the Lakanal House inquest is also available.

www.lambeth.gov.uk/Services/CouncilDemocracy/LakanalHouseCoronerInquest.htm

Sale of the UK Fire Service College completed: The future of the college is secured as Capita take over the world class training facility

Published: 28 February 2013

Fire Minister Brandon Lewis announced on 28 February 2013 the completion of the sale of the Fire Service College to Capita. The minister said that the college has at long last been given the best possible chance to fully realise the huge potential for this world-class asset.

Mr Lewis said:

I believe that by freeing the college from the constraints of government ownership, a private sector owner like Capita will have the freedom to generate new business and provide the innovation and investment which the college needs to safeguard its long term future.

The project to sell the Fire Service College had 3 key objectives in mind, to:

These aims have all been achieved in the sale to Capita.

The sale represents a good deal for the taxpayer. The college has been sold to Capita for an enterprise value of £10 million. In addition, the department will share in any future profits from the development of college land and will receive further revenue from the sale of a number of houses previously part of the college estate.

More importantly, Capita has also committed to invest in a significant programme of infrastructure and transformation and is keen to ensure that training courses deliver improved value for money.

Taken together the sale of the college has the potential to deliver an estimated benefit of £30 million to the taxpayer in the first few years and at the same time secure the college’s future.

Mr Lewis added:

I am particularly pleased that important partners, such as the Chief Fire Officers Association and the Local Government Association, have reacted positively to the sale, and I would like to wish Capita every success in realising their vision for the college.

Andy Parker, Capita’s joint chief operating officer said:

We envisage that the college will become a pioneering facility for the fire service, other emergency services and related markets, such as defence, oil and gas. It will support professional development and host integrated scenario planning and live exercises for major incidents. Capita will also support national standards that will ensure consistency of training delivered at both a local and international level. Capita recognises the college as an establishment that offers great potential in enabling the emergency services to meet the demands of the future.

The Fire Service College has been a trading fund and executive agency of the department. Since it became a trading fund in 1992, it has never been able to pay a dividend out of operating profits. The government’s response to Fire Futures on 12 April 2011 concluded that the college could achieve its full potential only if there was greater involvement from other sectors in its ownership, operation and governance.

The project considered 4 options for the future of the college:

Analysis of the 4 options showed disposal as a going concern to be the best option, and the only 1 which both removes from government ongoing financial risks of ownership of the college and preserves a national training college for the Fire and Rescue Service.

On 22 March 2012 ministers announced that the Fire Service College would be sold as a going concern to a private sector company to continue operating as a training centre. The sale process was launched on 10 April 2012.

Ministers announced Capita as the preferred bidder on 13 December 2012.

A full ‘Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations’ (TUPE) consultation has taken place with union representatives at the college.

Fire Statistics published

Published: 14 December 2012

Fire Statistics Great Britain 2011–12 plus accompanying tables and two supplementary analysis were published on 13 December 2012.

The links to access to the publications:

Fire Minister announces preferred bidder for purchase of Fire Service College

Published: 14 December 2012

Fire Minister Brandon Lewis has announced on 13 December 2012 Capita as the preferred bidder for the purchase of the Fire Service College.

The Fire Minister Brandon Lewis said he was happy that the proposed sale of the college to Capita would achieve value for money for the public purse and secure the future of the college.

Mr Lewis said:

“I am delighted that we are making real progress in securing the future of such an important facility. It is vital for the development of the Fire Service College that we put it on a sound footing, giving the private sector a chance to provide innovation and investment that will guarantee the future of a world-class asset.”

To ensure best value for money for taxpayers and enable the college to continue in its role, a number of conditions will be imposed on the proposed sale. These include commitments that:

Councillor Kay Hammond, Chair of the Local Government Association’s fire services management committee, said:

“It is good news that government has listened to the views of the sector about the future of the Fire Service College and that it now looks set to get the outside investment it so badly needs. The Local Government Association and fire authorities will be keen to work with the future owners to help them transform the college into a first-class training facility fit for firefighters in the 21st century.”

Chief Fire Officers’ Association President, Vij Randeniya, said:

“The Chief Fire Officers’ Association welcomes the news that Capita has been selected. It has been a long and intensive process and we are glad that there is now clarity for the Fire Service College. We look forward to working closely with Capita to ensure that the very best provision is available for UK fire and rescue services.”

The government now looks forward to holding constructive discussions with Capita to ensure that the transition from public to private sector is as smooth as possible and expects to complete the sale early in the New Year.

Further information

The Fire Service College is a trading fund and executive agency of the department. Since becoming a trading fund in 1992, it has never been able to pay a dividend out of operating profits. The government’s response to Fire Futures on 12 April 2011 concluded that the college could achieve its full potential only if there was greater involvement from other sectors in its ownership, operation and governance.

The Future Options project considered 4 options for the future of the college:

Analysis of the 4 options showed disposal as a going concern to be the best option, and the only one which both removes from government ongoing financial risks of ownership of the college and preserves a national training college for the fire and rescue service.

Ministers announced on 22 March 2012 that the Fire Service College would be sold as a going concern to a private sector company to continue operating as a training centre.

The sale process was launched on 10 April 2012 and the due diligence phase concluded in October with the receipt of final bids. Best and final offers were received in November. The aim is to complete the sale in early 2013.

Urgent news – Three PhD Studentships available at Centre for Fire and Hazards Science, University of Central Lancashire

Published: 1 November 2012

These exciting projects address one of the major challenges in European fire safety – the replacement of ecotoxic halogenated flame retardants with safe alternatives. There are three studentships associated with this project and applicants will be considered for all three studentships unless indicated otherwise.

Applications are invited for these 3 PhD studentships, funded by the European Union Framework 7. Each studentship is tenable for 3 years, subject to satisfactory progress. Each studentship will cover the cost of tuition fees for UK/EU residents, plus an annual, tax-free bursary of £16,000 (approx €20,000). The projects will start around January 2013.

International applicants may apply, but will be expected to pay the difference between the UK/EU and International Fee Rate (approx £8,000 per year).

Versatile and enthusiastic chemistry/physics/analytical science or engineering graduates are required. Applicants should have or expect to receive a good degree in chemistry or related subject preferably 1st class honours or equivalent.

Requests for an application pack (quoting the reference number RS1208) should be directed to the Graduate Research School Office. Tel: 01772 895082 or email: researchdegrees@uclan.ac.uk

The project is led by Dr. Anna A Stec, and Prof. T Richard Hull (editors of Fire Toxicity, Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, UK), and both based at UCLan.

CD248 – A consultation on the proposed removal of the requirement for the Health and Safety Executive to approve first aid training and qualifications, a review of the Approved Code of Practice and the content of associated guidance

Published: 1 November 2012

This Consultative Document seeks views on proposals from HSE to amend Regulation 3(2) of the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 (S.I. 1981 No. 917) as amended and is intended to build upon the views sought in stakeholder consultation conducted by HSE on the proposed amendment earlier in the year. The amendments are in response to a recommendation in Professor Löfstedt’s report “Reclaiming health and safety for all: An independent review of health and safety legislation”, and relate to the regulation of first-aid at work.

HSE is consulting on the proposed removal of the requirement for HSE to approve first aid training and qualifications and a review of the associated Approved Code of Practice and the content of revised guidance to support employers with the changes. Specifically, HSE seeks views on what guidance would be useful to businesses when assessing what they need in terms of first aid provision for their particular circumstances; and in the selection of training providers.

These changes are part of HSE’s work to make it easier for businesses and other users to understand what they need to do to comply with health and safety law, and will be of interest to businesses of all sizes and from all sectors.

This consultation began on 22 October 2012 and ends on 3 December 2012. Responses should be sent by 3 December 2012:

http://consultations.hse.gov.uk/consult.ti/CD248/consultationHome

Andy McGrory, Health and Safety Executive, 5SG Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle, Liverpool L20 7HS | Fax: 0151 951 3098 | Email: firstaidconsultation@hse.gsi.gov.uk

‘Savage’ fire and rescue cuts put lives at risk

Published: 1 November 2012

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is raising the alarm over unprecedented risks to public safety posed by ‘deep and dangerous’ cuts to the fire service. Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, is urging the public to join firefighters in defending stations threatened with closure. ‘The public has already lost around 1,500 frontline firefighters since 2010, despite David Cameron’s hollow eve-of-election promise that there would be no cuts to the firefighting frontline,’ he said.

The FBU leader warned a continuation of the government’s ‘reckless austerity drive’ could see frontline firefighter jobs slashed by 20 per cent. ‘People deserve to have their lives, homes and businesses protected. As firefighters, we have a duty to spell out to the public the risks of ever-deepening cuts,’ he said. ‘More cuts will mean slower response times to emergencies, putting lives, homes and businesses at greater risk. Response times are almost two minutes slower on average than a decade ago. If there is no local fire station, response times will be even longer. Delays cost lives. That’s why people should make sure they join with firefighters to campaign to keep stations threatened with closure open.’

FBU news release

The Emergency Services Show 2012 – interoperability is key for future developments in ambulance services

Wednesday and Thursday 21-22 November at Stoneleigh Park, Coventry

Published: 1 November 2012

Recent events, such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the upcoming 2012 Olympics, are opening the discussion once again around the importance of interoperability within the blue light services. Interoperability, although not a new term, has become particularly prominent recently following discussions in late 2011 that brought together professionals from the fire and rescue, ambulance and police services.

As part of the recently announced funding for the Government’s localised projects to improve national resilience, 44 fire and rescue services throughout England put forward plans for future collaboration with another fire and rescue or emergency authority. Bringing the focus back to local communities and local accountability, rather than requiring firefighters to reach targets set by central government, represents a new challenge for fire and rescue services. Knowledge and understanding of each other’s systems, including use and procurement of equipment, communications and training exercises paves the way for improved collaboration between the blue light services.

The Emergency Services Show 2012 is the ideal place to explore new ideas and initiatives in delivering efficient and effective emergency planning, as well as networking with like-minded professionals to discuss collaboration, ideas and initiatives focused on improving public safety.

With over 4400 visitors attending last year’s event, The Emergency Services Show 2012 will be the key event for anyone involved in emergency planning, response or recovery, both in the UK and abroad. This year, the event will take place on Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd November at Stoneleigh Park, Coventry.

To register for your free visitor pass or to learn more about attending The Emergency Services Show 2012, please visit www.emergencyuk.com

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service strike gold

Published: 1 November 2012

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has received a gold award at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2012.

The RoSPA awards are presented to organisations that have excellent health, safety and welfare management systems in place and can show continuous success in reducing accidents among employees.

The accolade is the eighth Gold Award for the service which has seen the total number of work-based accidents reduced from 208 in 2004 to 58 in 2012, a 72 per cent reduction. While vehicle-related accidents have dropped from 115 in 2006 to 46 in the last five years, a 60 per cent reduction.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager, Dave Orr, said: “Together the management and union representatives are committed to protecting the health and well-being of all of our employees. The safety of our staff is of paramount importance and we are always looking at ways in which we can improve processes to protect them and the public that we serve.

“We have continued our commitment of providing dedicated health and safety themed training to all staff by introducing further training to corporate and control room staff. This has been improved further by delivering bespoke training packages which are directly relevant to specific areas of the back office functions. Health and safety training initially given to operational staff heightened their hazard perception and resulted in a continued reduction in accidents during operational activities. Building on this success it was decided to deliver similar training to all staff. This is paying dividends, as people are thinking more about their safety and it has helped us to significantly reduce the number of accidents at work.”

The latest figures published (April 2012 – June 2012) show that the number of accidents involving Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue staff has reduced significantly again in the last quarter statistics. The number of incidents fell to the lowest ever number of five accidents. Vehicle-related accidents also fell sharply to the lowest recorded figure of two minor damaged vehicles.

Chief Fire Officer Tom Capeling said: “We are committed to providing a highly effective emergency response service without compromising the safety of our staff. Winning the RoSPA Gold Award for the eighth time shows how highly we value the health and safety of all of our employees and is fantastic recognition for the teams who work with our staff to encourage a happy, healthy and safe workforce.”

David Rawlings, RoSPA Awards Manager, said: “The RoSPA Awards programme provides well-deserved recognition for the winners and spurs on other organisations to raise their standards of accident and ill health prevention. We congratulate Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service on its success and encourage it, and all our other winners, to remain committed to safety and health, an approach that is well recognised to be good for workers and the bottom line.”

Update on Annual Conference on Fire-Related Research and Developments (RE12) at the FSC on Thursday 15 November 2012

Published: 24 September 2012

The Fire Service College and the Institution of Fire Engineers are pleased to announce that the Annual Conference on Fire-Related Research and Developments 2012 (RE12) will take place at the Fire Service College on Thursday, 15 November 2012.

This Conference attracts a wide audience from across the emergency services, the fire industry, research communities and other private or public sectors interested in the latest fire-related issues, developments and concerns.

The broad range of backgrounds and professional approaches including technical, engineering, legal, social, psychological, economic, operational, national and international perspectives, gives the conference its distinctive multi-disciplinary and multi-agency flavour.

www.fireservicecollege.ac.uk

Fires in London halved in decade

Published: 24 September 2012

The number of fires recorded in London has halved over the last decade, and is now at its lowest point since 1966 – when records began – new figures released by the London Fire Brigade have revealed.

Last year, a total of 26,845 fires were recorded, down from 55,063 in 2001. In 1966 there were 30,436 fires.

The total number of incidents, which includes road traffic accidents, false alarms and other non-fire callouts were also down by 39 per cent on 2001’s total to 115,126 incidents last year.

James Cleverly, chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said: “Despite London’s population growing by almost a million in the last decade, the number of fires in the capital is at an all time low.

“The London Fire Brigade has worked incredibly hard to make London a safer city. Using a sophisticated approach, it has targeted those people who are more likely to have a fire and provided them with potentially life-saving advice and smoke alarms.

“People across the capital are benefitting from the hard work of our firefighters. However, whilst London has become a safer place to live, work and visit, there is no room for complacency. Brigade chiefs are committed to keeping people in the capital even safer, not least by preventing fires from happening in the first place.”

New Fire and Rescue Minister Brandon Lewis

Published: 24 September 2012

On 5 September 2012 Brandon Lewis MP was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the UK Department for Communities and Local Government. He was elected Member of Parliament for Great Yarmouth in May 2010. He has served on Commons Committees for Regulatory Reform and Work and Pensions.

Mr Lewis qualified as a barrister and has a BSc Economics and LLB Hons (Law) from the University of Buckingham and a LLM (Merit) in Commercial Law from King’s College London. He served on Brentwood Borough Council for more than ten years, with five as leader. As a company director, Mr Lewis has a wealth of experience in the business world. He has particular interests in the challenges facing small businesses and coastal towns.

Married with two children, Mr Lewis enjoys taking time out to read and going to the theatre and cinema. He has twice completed the London Marathon and took up triathlon in 2011.

Mark Hoban has succeeded Chris Grayling as the UK Employment Minister in charge of health and safety following the 4 September 2012 cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister David Cameron

Published: 24 September 2012

Former treasury minister Hoban has been a Tory MP since 2001. He has a degree in economics and worked for more than 15 years in various roles at accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers. His involvement in politics started in 1980, when he joined the Conservative Party in north east England. Hoban was first elected as MP for Fareham in June 2001 and re-elected in 2005 and 2010.

He was appointed financial secretary to the Treasury in May 2010, having carried out this role in opposition since December 2005.

Between November 2003 and December 2005 he was shadow minister for schools. Prior to November 2003, he was an opposition whip.

Chris Grayling replaces Kenneth Clarke as justice secretary, and health secretary Andrew Lansley has been replaced by former culture minister Jeremy Hunt.

Access to fire and rescue incident records in England

Published: 24 September 2012

Fire and rescue authorities in England are now able to download Incident Recording System records upon signing up to a set of access conditions. This enables fire and rescue authorities to derive wide-ranging information at local and national level, for example for deriving statistics for benchmarking and to support fire safety and prevention.

Fire and rescue authority access to the data sets will be via a secure file transfer download facility.

The data access conditions are available by emailing Gavin.Sayer@communities.gsi.gov.uk or Ian.Rowe@communities.gsi.gov.uk. These require authorisation by a senior member of staff, along with an undertaking from a manager with day-to-day responsibility for ensuring supervision of adherence to the data access conditions. This includes up-to-date training to those staff who need to have access, e.g. in data protection.

Access to fire and rescue incident data for those other than fire and rescue authorities

Published: 24 September 2012

This has also been under development. A specification was tested over winter 2011-12 for risks of the disclosure of personal information. These tests were carried out by a leading academic appointed by the Administrative Data Liaison Service, an organisation funded by the Economic and Social Research Council to encourage the development of access to data sets.

The results of these tests indicated that the fire and rescue incident record-level data base is not suited for unrestricted public access, and that instead access for others should be via a secure data lab.

The Department is therefore also pursuing this option as part of its delivery to the Government’s Transparency Agenda. Meanwhile a wide range of statistics at national and fire authority levels continue to be available on the Department’s website at: www.communities.gov.uk/fire/researchandstatistics/firestatistics

Concern that provision of fire safety information is slipping

Published: 24 September 2012

Scant awareness of the mandatory need for developers to pass on fire safety information to building occupiers on completion of a project is raising concerns.

Despite efforts to improve education on the subject, the Passive Fire Protection Federation (PFPF) believes more awareness is needed of the fact it is mandatory for building owners to pass on this important information and to remove confusion about what is needed to comply with Regulation 38 of the Building Regulations.

Regulation 38 applies to any new building or extension to which the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (FSO) applies and to any such building which has undergone a material change of use. For these buildings, the person carrying out the work is required to give fire safety information to the responsible person in order to help them to operate and maintain the building or extension with reasonable safety.

Appendix G of Approved Document B (ADB) Volume 2 of the Building Regulations gives recommendations on the type of information required for ‘simple’ and ‘complex’ buildings. Chairman of the PFPF, David Sugden, explained, ‘ADB provides excellent guidance right through the construction phase of a building and on into its time of occupation. Regulation 7 of the Building Regulations points people to third party certification to ensure the use of quality products and installers, while Regulation 38 requires information on what has been installed to be given to the responsible person.

‘Regulation 38 is not just a recommendation – it is a requirement, since this information can greatly improve the building occupier’s understanding of the safety precautions installed within a building.’

http://pfpf.org

Fire in pictures

Published: 24 September 2012

The Mary Evans Picture Library is the exclusive representative of the fantastic and extensive archive of the London Fire Brigade (The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority). The collection contains extensive documentation of the fire service in London from the 19th century to the present day, and is an incredible record of the development of equipment and techniques, and of the history of the LFB itself.

Subjects covered by the LFB archive include photography of fire-fighting during World War Two, as well as horse-drawn fire engines and other early equipment. There are also interesting scenes of the destructive 1936 fire which destroyed the Crystal Palace, while modern photography brings us right up to the 21st century with coverage of the response to emergencies across the capital.

www.maryevans.com/collections.php?collection_no=C00017

Fire Sector Federation UK

Published: 24 September 2012

The Fire Sector Federation is a forum of debate and discussion. It is where representatives of organisations who work with or within the built, natural, fire and rescue and national resilience environments in the UK can expertly consider issues of common interest.

The Federation seeks to give voice to and exert influence in shaping future policy and strategy related to the UK Fire Sector.

It aims to develop an informed fire sector, through original research and objective analysis; coordinating academic research and fire and rescue service evaluation and reviews; and disseminate knowledge and best practice through the production of advice and guidance.

The work of the Fire Sector Federation is divided into a number of focused workstreams which examine in detail issues considered to be of particular importance to the fire sector.

These workstreams are at the heart of the FSF, bringing together members with a particular interest or expertise to discuss and develop policy and actions and to produce industry guidance for wider dissemination, as necessary.

Further ad-hoc and administrative workstreams will be set up as necessary. Ad hoc workstreams will deal with transitory issues, such as the recent consultation on the FRS National Framework Document for England.

FSF members are free to join any workstream in which they have an interest. The workstreams are as follows:

All Party Parliamentary Fire Safety & Rescue Group; Fire Investigation; International Issues; Marketing; Procurement of Goods and Services and Research and statistics that includes Specific activities focus on three areas:

www.firesectorfederation.co.uk

Don’t re-invent the wheel... learn from others!

Published: 24 September 2012

OSHWORLD: portal to fire, health, safety, chemical authoritative sources

OSHWORLD contains news, articles, events and links for the Fire, Health, Safety, and Environment community worldwide. It was established in 1996 and is continuously updated. Free of charge!

www.oshworld.com