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Fire and Rescue Statistics User Group

7th Meeting
of the
Fire Statistics User Group
held on
Tuesday 29th April 2003
Eland House


Mr G. Evans

Chair, FBU

Mr A. McCormack

Secretariat, FRD, ODPM

Ms C. Reynolds

Fire Research Division ODPM

Mr. S. Emery

English Heritage

Mr. T. Wilmot

World Fire Statistics Centre

Mr. A. Paish

World Fire Statistics Centre

Ms. S. Pantry

Fire Information Group

Mr. M. Eady


Mr. S. Kidd

Fire Industry Confederation

Ms H. Jones

Fire Statistics and Research Branch, Fire Policy Division, ODPM

Mr. S. Deaton

Fire Statistics and Research Branch, Fire Policy Division, ODPM

Ms. G. Ford

Fire Statistics and Research Branch, Fire Policy Division, ODPM

Mr. I Jerome

Fire Protection Association

Mr. B. Tucker

Fire Service College

Mr. B. Tregunna


1 Chair's Introduction

1.1 The Chair welcomed all Group members to the 7th Meeting of the Fire Statistics User Group, especially new members Georgina Ford (the new main contact for the Fire Statistics and Research Branch) and Brian Tregunna for CACFOA, (Hereford and Worcester Fire Brigade) who is replacing Graham Holden, who has recently retired. He wished Graham a very long and happy retirement.

1.2 The Chair also addressed the concerns over the future of the Fire Safety Advisory Board that had been raised at the last meeting, arising from the content of the Independent Review of the Fire Service by Professor Sir George Bain. As a result of a subsequent meeting by the Members of the Fire Safety Advisory Board with the senior civil servant drafting the Fire Service White Paper, he was pleased to report that, subject to Ministerial approval, the future Fire Safety Advisory Board appeared to be reasonably secure.

2 Apologies

Mr. A Burd

Building Regulations, ODPM

Mr. D. Hobbs

Building Regulations, ODPM

Mr. C. Hill


Mr. A. Henderson

HMFSI (Scotland)

Mr. G. Lipscombe

Association of Building Engineers

Mr. S. Birt

Association of British Insurers

Mr. I. Evans


Ms. L. Watson

Fire Statistics and Research Branch, ODPM

Mr. M. Fordham

The Fire Brigades Union.

3 Minutes of the Previous Meeting.

The following points were raised.

3.1 In paragraph 3.3, Tom Wilmot asked if his remarks could be re-phrased as follows. "Mr. Wilmot remarked that data is available in Canada and that the New Zealand Fire Service Commission included aiming to reduce property loss as well as other losses."

3.2 In paragraph 9.4 Mr. Paish pointed out the ODPM report referred to was yet to be published (it should be published in the Autumn). The Chair provided Mr Paish with a copy of the FBU report mentioned.

4 Matters Arising from the Previous Minutes.

4.1 AIFS Eady had provided a report on investigation of fires of special interest, and it was agreed this would be forwarded to the FSAB with a suitable addition to show it came from the group. This was agreed.

4.2 The data on French fire extinguisher use had been provided by Mr. Jerome to the Secretary as a paper copy, and was being transferred to electronic format before distribution.

Action : Secretary to distribute

5 Presentation by Stuart Deaton, Fire Statistics Collection : Severity of Injury Scoping Study

5.1 Mr. Deaton gave an excellent presentation on a new initiative to measure the severity of injury of casualties in fires. At present, the nature of the injury (e.g. burn) is recorded, but not the severity. If further information pinpointing serious injuries was available, fires causing them could be targeted. To this end, a scoping study was carried out by which concluded that the best method was to collect data at the scene, as an addition to the current FDR1 report. Several points were raised during and after the presentation. A copy of the slides presented is attached.

5.2 The Chair welcomed the proposal to try to create meaningful statistics relating to levels of fire injuries. He felt however, that the proposals fell between the two stools of providing statistics, or being an aid to determining medical treatment for a casualty and that this needed to be addressed. He asked if the proposed form could be modified to deal with injuries occurring in non-fire situations, such as RTA's. He also suggested that a way of recording that no contact with the casualty by fire service personnel had occurred, e.g. where they have been treated and removed by paramedics before the attendance of the fire service. Similarly, that there should be a way of indicating that a casualty had refused any, or further, medical treatment, needed to be included.

5.3 Mr. B. Tregunna commented that the form must be simple and easy to use, seen as relevant by the brigade officer, and may be useful if fire brigades become more involved in co-responding to medical emergencies. He also asked if the form would be kept nationally or locally.

5.3.1 Mr. Deaton said it was intended that the form would be kept locally, and used to estimate the extent of injury by a points system that would itself be incorporated into the FDR1 form.

5.4 AIFS Eady asked what extra training brigade staff would need to use the form outlined, and would it be consistently filled in.

5.4.1 Mr. Deaton replied that the indicators are deliberately based on observations rather than specialist diagnosis, so no medical training should be necessary. He acknowledged that if co-responding became common, fire brigade staff would need medical training.

5.5 Several members (including Mr. S. Emery and Mr. B. Tucker) commented that the system outlined would probably not be used as a management aid at the scene. Mr. B. Tucker asked whether this snapshot taken at the scene would be accurate, and would data from A and E departments have to be incorporated.

5.5.1 Mr. Deaton responded that a snapshot would be an improvement on data already collected, and there were no plans in the near future to link the injury data to hospital (A and E) records. Such a link was well in the future. HESS (Health service reports) and FDR1 data could be compared but the two sets of data did not match accurately, and not all fire-related deaths involved the fire brigade and hence were not recorded on FDR1 returns. The algorithm was also definitely not designed as a triage system for casualties.

5.5 Mr. S. Kidd commented that from his experience as a paramedic, these observations on a casualty are not too difficult and should be possible quickly at the scene of the incident. He raised the issue of chemical escape as a cause of injury.

5.6 Mr. T. Wilmot welcomed the idea of this type of data being available, and asked if the definition of minor and major injury would be compatible with that used by the Department for transport for road accidents.

5.6.1 Mr. Deaton thought that this scale would not always be suitable for fire trauma, but agreed on the usefulness of knowing extent of injury, pointing out the improvement in calculating the true cost of fire (DfT estimates a minor injury costs the U.K. £25,000 and a major injury £ 200,000).

5.7 Ms. Reynolds welcomed the idea of measuring extent of injury, especially as it would improve the measurement of the true cost of fire and so improve cost-benefit models. She asked what timescale was envisaged for the project.

5.7.1 Mr. Deaton said the aim was to start a pilot scheme with a brigade or brigades as soon as possible. With that aim, he asked that all comments on changing the suggested form were sent to him by e-mail within the next two weeks. Mr. B. Tregunna offered to help in the task of approaching brigades about being partners in the project.

Action ; All interested parties to forward comments to Mr. Deaton as soon as possible at :

6 Distribution of questionnaire on preliminary views on data collection in FDR1 form

6.1 Ms. H. Jones distributed paper copies of a questionnaire designed to capture preliminary views on the review of FDR1 data collection. She stressed this was for preliminary views only and to inform the consultant who would be undertaking a full consultation procedure with stakeholders. The current FDR1 and FDR3 forms were also distributed for information. An electronic copy of the questionnaire can also be used and is attached.

Action All interested parties to return copies of the questionnaire to Georgina Ford at Fire Statistics and research Branch, Floor 18C Portland House or via e-mail to: Since this work goes to tender shortly, could all responses be received before the end of May.

6.2 Mr. S. Kidd asked for some of the explanatory notes accompanying the form to be provided. Ms. C. Reynolds said that FRD had an electronic copy of the relevant part and would pass this on.

Action : Secretary to provide the data required.

7 Presentation on Fire Information Collections in the U.K.

7.1 Ms. S. Pantry gave a report on the loss of fire information available to the public due to the closure or merger of various organisations. The report included the main remaining data collections in the U.K. and highlighted how the importance of preserving what remains for use by the fire industry in general. After a timely report and some debate, it was agreed that the issue should be raised with the Fire Safety Advisory Board.

Action : Ms. S. Pantry to update the report to reflect some of the issues raised (including the position of the Fire Service College in liaison with Mr. B. Tucker) and this to be forwarded to the Chair.

Action : The Chair to raise this issue with the Fire Safety Advisory Board, on the basis that the Group had expressed concern at the loss of historical fire information as outlined by Ms. Sheila Pantry, and suggesting that a Working Party be set up (comprised of members from the FSAB and of the Fire Statistics User Group) to identify and cost solutions and report accordingly to Ministers.

8 Request by AIRMIC for information on fires in food production and food storage facilities

8.1 The Chair reported that he had been approached by Mr. J. D. Mason of AIRMIC which was an industry association of risk managers in the food industry regarding the provision by the Group of statistics relating to fires in food factory premises over a 10 year cycle from 1992 to 2002. He had met with Mr Mason to discuss the request and had advised him that the Group could only provide guidance on access to statistics from sources available to them and that in this instance the FDR1 statistics might meet the needs of AIRMIC. As a result he had received a written request from Mr Mason to that effect which he proposed to pass to the Fire Statistics and Research Branch of the Fire Policy Division at ODPM for processing.

8.2 Mr. S. Deaton and Ms. G. Ford undertook to take this matter forward, using relevant data from the FDR1 fire statistics databases. The Chair passed the letter from AIRMIC to them for processing.

9 Report on Brigade Resource used in Fire Inspections

9.1 A draft report was submitted by the Group Secretary, using data provided by the HMFSI and Scottish Executive that measures the amount of brigade resource currently committed to the fire inspection system. This is being modified by the introduction of a regulatory reform order, and it is intended that this change should allow brigades more flexibility in fire inspections, but should not involve a reduction in the resource allocated to inspections and community fire safety. A copy of the draft and a summary of the data are attached for comments before a revised version is submitted to the FSAB.

Action : Secretary to act on feedback and produce final version of the report.

10 Any Other Business.

10.1 There being no further business the Chair closed the meeting.

11 Dates of Next Meetings

11.1 The next dates were agreed as Thursday 31st July 2003 and Wednesday 29th October 2003 commencing at 10:45 am

Venue to be confirmed.