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Fire and Rescue Statistics User Group

Minutes of the
Fourth Meeting
of the
Fire Statistics User Group
held on
Thursday 5th September,
Room 3B Eland House


Mr. G. R. Evans (Chair)

Fire Brigades Union

Mr. A. McCormack (Secretary)

ODPM (Fire Research Division)

Miss C. Reynolds

ODPM (Fire Research Division)

Mr. M. Eady


Mr. M. Reed


Mr. D. Hobbs

ODPM (Building Regulations)

Mr. A. Paish

World Fire Statistics Centre

Mr. T. Wilmot

World Fire Statistics Centre

Mr. S. Kidd

Fire Industry Confederation

Mr. G. Holden


Ms. V. Johnson


Ms. J. Marshall


Mr. I. Jerome

Fire Protection Association

Mr. A. Henderson

HM Fire Service Inspectorate for Scotland

Mr. W. Tucker

Fire Service College

Ms. S. Pantry

Fire Information Group

Apologies for absence

Apologies were received from Mr. G. Liscombe (ABE), Mr. M Fordham FBU, Dr. D. Peace and Miss L. Watson of the ODPM, Mr. S. Emery of English Heritage and Ian Evans NCFSC (Vice Chair).

1 Introduction

1.1 The Chair welcomed everyone to the Fourth Meeting of the Fire Statistics User Group, and introduced a new member, Ms. Sheila Pantry to the Group. He invited Sheila to give a brief introduction of herself and the Fire Information Group - UK. Sheila represents the UK Fire Information Group (F.I.G. UK) which is a collection of 40 organisations and individuals with an interest in fire ranging from forensic scientists to the London Fire Brigade. It is linked to the International Fire Information Group and so has contacts with Australian, American, European and other international bodies. As well as organising the Second International Fire Information conference in May 2002, there is a website detailing sources of fire information at

Sheila may also be contacted at

1.2 Ms. Vicky Johnson of LFEPA announced that she would shortly be starting a new job within the London Fire Brigade, as a result of which she would no longer be representing LFEPA at the Group meetings. She introduced Ms. Julie Marshall who would be her replacement. The Chair thanked Vicky for her contributions to the work of the Group and wished her every success in her new post. He went on to welcome Julie to the Group. (Since then, Craig Hill has become the LFEPA representative.)

2 Minutes of the Previous Meeting

2.1 The Minutes were agreed with the following amendments

  1. Mr. T. Wilmot's name was spelt incorrectly (the correct spelling was noted as an action point in the Minutes).
  2. In paragraph 8.2, remove repeat of "could" from second sentence.
  3. Also in paragraph 8.2, replace third sentence with the following. "Historic Scotland has collaborated with two Scottish fire brigades on a pilot scheme to make a CD-Rom containing information on listed buildings with details of historic buildings in all of Scotland."
  4. Also in paragraph 8.2, replace "too" with "to" in sentence 4.

3 Matters Arising from the Minutes

3.1 Item 4.2 of the Minutes referred to an action placed on Ms Lorraine Watson in the Minutes of the previous Meeting that was still undischarged. The action referred to data from the collection of FDR1 statistics. As Ms Watson had also presented her apologies to the previous meeting of the Group the Chair requested that if Ms. Watson was unable to attend the next Meeting of the Group in November would she present a written report upon the matter to that meeting.

Action: Ms L. Watson.

3.2 Minute 4.3 referred to an action originally placed upon HMI Berry, but subsequently taken over by AFI Eady during HMI Berry's absence on sick leave. HMI Eady said that he had been unable to process the issue further and was unaware that an action had been placed upon him to do so because he had not received copies of the Minutes. The Chair asked that he bring a report forward to the next meeting of the group in November.

Action: AFI Eady.

3.3 The collaboration between Historic Scotland and the Strathclyde and Grampian Fire Brigades in the pilot scheme relating to data on listed buildings is now being rolled out to the other Scottish brigades. The aim of the project is to supply data in the form of a CD-ROM that can be added to the command and control systems to identify listed buildings and which could also be used to detail special points of interest about the buildings relevant to fire fighting and salvage.

Action: Mr S. Kidd to present a paper on this subject at the next meeting.

4 Chair's Report to the Fire Safety Advisory Board

4.1 The Chair's Report to the Fire Safety Advisory Board was agreed with the following amendments.

  1. In members present, Mr. T. Wilmot's name is incorrectly spelt.
  2. In paragraph 3.2 replace "too" with "to" in the second sentence.
  3. In the action associated with paragraph 3.3, replace "Fire Statistics and Research Division" with "Fire Statistics and Research Section".
  4. In paragraph 3.4, in sentence two, add Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Fire Brigade to those working with English Heritage.

5 Task Referral from 7th Meeting of the Fire Safety Advisory Board

5.1 AFI Eady confirmed that AFI Jones of HMFSI had now completed a review of fires of special interest. Unfortunately, the outcomes of the review of fire of special interest by HMFSI could not be made available to the Group until it had been seen by senior members of the Fire Policy Division and HM Fire Service Inspectorate. The Chair requested that a report from either AFI Eady, or AFI Jones, on the review of fires of special interest be presented to the next meeting of the group.

Action: AFI Eady.

6 Fire Statistics - Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings

6.1 Mr G. Holden confirmed Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service and English Heritage had made good progress on the scheme, and a large amount of data needed to be loaded onto the command and control computer. This was expected to be complete and to be running in January.

6.2 Ms. V. Johnson stated London Fire Brigade was awaiting data for one borough to trial the process.

6.3 There was some discussion on whether rural or city buildings could be accurately identified by location, and whether special items of interest about a building could be identified in the command and control system so the Fire Officer at the scene could be informed. It was agreed that the first priority was to get enough data to identify the scale of the problem, and that the Scottish study showed that this should be possible.

6.4 The European Commission is funding a body (COST 17) to study the protection of heritage. It has just been set up and one of its aims is gathering fire information. Mr. S. Kidd is one of the U.K. representatives on this committee, and offered to be a link between the two groups where their interests ran parallel. Mr. Paish added that information should also be gathered on flood and collapse risks that receive more political attention and hence may help with funding.

6.5 It was agreed that this item should remain on the Agenda of the Group until the trials were completed and a report could then be drawn up and sent to the Fire Safety Advisory Board.


7 Forthcoming Events

7.1 The Fire Service Research Event at the Fire College in Morton-in-Marsh begins on the 20th November, finishing on the 21st.

8 Any Other Business

8.1 Ms. C. Reynolds has secured funding to back-correlate 3-5 years of incident data to have it geo-coded. This should be available in 1-2 years and should be a valuable resource for members of the group, rather than having to wait for current data.

8.2 Ms S. Pantry is editing a European magazine on safety including fire and chemical hazards that may be a valuable reference for the group and other contacts.

8.3 Mr. S. Kidd requested information on school fires as part of a project on the effectiveness of sprinkler systems and other fire protection of schools. There was some discussion on the subject, especially the difficulty of getting near-miss data that would be very valuable. Ms. Reynolds suggested the Welsh Assembly were looking at his subject and it may be possible to share data with them, and that the Home Office may have data relating to the frequency of Arson in schools.

Action: Mr S. Kidd to write formally to the Fire Statistics Group indicating the data he would need.

8.4 Ms. V. Johnson distributed some information on the Real Fire Library set up as part of a PhD project. This database contains information on over 27000 incidents. This was considered very interesting, and a request was made for a fuller presentation, possibly at the next meeting.

Action: Ms. J. Marshall to confirm if this would be possible to the Chair (the next meeting is scheduled for 12th November).

8.5 Sheila Pantry asked about the ease of obtaining information such as Dear Chief Officer Letters (DCOL's) and other similar government fire data, as this was not always easily obtained by the public following recent government department reshuffles although it had been available previously. Mr. M. Reed said that this should improve as the organisation of the ODPM becomes clearer. He undertook to investigate the matter further. In Scotland fire data is grouped in one internet site by the Scottish Executive, and although new this website was expanding.

Action: all members to e-mail Aidan McCormack with any sources of publicly available information for him to collate and pass on at the next meeting.

Action: Group Secretary - the Minutes and other papers from the last meeting should be circulated by e-mail to ensure all members received it.

9 Date of Next Meeting.

The next meeting of the Group is on the 12th November in Ashdown House (Room 8A) at 10.30 a.m.

Meeting closed.