Skip to content

Fire and Rescue Statistics User Group

13th Meeting
of the
Fire & Rescue Statistics User Group
held on
Tuesday 30th November 2004 at 10:30 am
Portland House


Mr. G. Evans

Chair, FBU

Mr. T. Wilmot

World Fire Statistics Centre

Mr. A. Paish

World Fire Statistics Centre

Mr. D. Champion

Fire Statistics and Research Division, ODPM

Mr. S. Emery

English Heritage

Prof. A. Everton

University of Central Lancashire

Mr. M. Rowan


Ms. S. Pantry

Fire Information Group

Mr. G. Gower-Kerslake

Buildings Division, ODPM

Mr. A. McCormack

Secretary, FSRD, ODPM

Ms. L. Avery


1 Chair's Introduction

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting, including Jim Heatherill, the new member for the Scottish Executive.

2 Apologies

Mr. M. Eady,


Dr. D. Rae

Fire Service College

Mr. I. Evans


Dr. C. Magill


Ms.C. Reynolds


Mr. D. Pearson


Mr. N. Bason


Mr. S. Kidd

Fire Industry Confederation

3 Minutes of Previous Meeting

3.1 There were a few minor corrections to the Minutes.

4 Matters Arising from the Minutes.

4.1 David Champion was able to confirm that the Paddington train crash had been reclassified as a non-fire event, and that therefore the casualties associated with that tragedy were not classed as fire deaths and injuries (10.3 in previous minutes)

4.2 Steve Emery had been distributing the geocoded breakdowns of listed buildings to fire and rescue services. Coverage of most of the Brigades in the south of England had now been achieved.

4.3 The Chair reported that the Statistics User Group had been wound up and would be replaced by the Statistics User Forum. The Forum would then form a sub group of the Royal Statistical Society. He had attended the inaugural meeting of the Forum and the Secretary would be attending the next meeting of the Forum, and would report back to the Group on its progress.

4.3.1 The Forum offered the FRSUG a potential link with other sector User Groups, such as the Transport and Health Statistics User Groups, as well as business groups and those linked to the Home Office and crime statistics. The Chair said he was anxious to explore the possibilities of establishing closer links with those Groups to share information.

4.3.2 Tom Wilmot raised the issue of the provision of common UK statistics rather than just those for England, or England and Wales, or Scotland. The Chair said that this was an issue that has been raised by the Forum with government and will continue to be raised. It is not an issue peculiar to this Group and was one of increasing concern within the statistics community.

4.3.3 Issues to be raised with the Statistics User Forum included Statistics Access teams in government to make getting good information from government easier, consistent (or sometimes any) UK-wide data on areas of interest, standards of mapping and geo-coding, ensuring Government statistics continued to be collected to the highest standard and that faith in them was not compromised.

5. Statistics User Group Research Seminar

5.1 The Chair thanked all the speakers for their input. He felt that while it was not a large audience (although it was comparable with most talks in the main event), several people had come up with comments during and after the event. He thought a small article in the trade press about the event, raising the profile of the group, would be a good next step.

5.1.1 Tom Wilmot and Tony Paish also complimented the other speakers, and asked for copies of the slides electronically, with them to be put on the website at a later date.

ACTION: Secretary to distribute the slides to the group.

5.1.2 Geoffrey Gower-Kerslake raised a general point about the Group, and how it stood in publishing material, and whether it needed ODPM permission to do this.

ACTION: Secretary to raise with DOC the rules on the group publishing.

5.2 It was felt that if this was repeated next year at the research event, we should look to be part of the main event, or ensure that a pre-event talk was well-publicised.

5.3 It was felt the event had been good for raising the group profile, and that some similar talks should be arranged the next research event and at other similar conferences if possible.

5.4 As a point of information, the research event 2005 is scheduled to take place on the 12th and 13th October, and the first call for papers has just been made, with a deadline for return of abstracts of the 25th March.

ACTION: Members of the Group were asked to consider whether they wished to submit papers individually and if the Group should also submit a collective paper. This matter is to be discussed further at the next meeting of the Group.

6 FRSUG Website

6.1 David Champion had sent a submission up to Ministers and was awaiting a reply regarding ODPM hosting the website. If this was accepted the website would be hosted on the ODPM web server, with a DOC contact to monitor content.

6.2 Sheila Pantry also said that FIG could host the site if ODPM proved unable too. The Chair thanked Sheila for her offer but said he hoped that at this stage it could be hosted by the ODPM. If they could not then the Group would need to consider Sheila's offer.

6.3 It was accepted that it was very important for the website to be regularly updated to make sure that it was current, and could therefore host items of news.

6.4 David Champion asked if the changes recommended for the website demo at the last meeting had been made. Sheila Pantry replied that they had.

7 Review of the FDR1 Form (David Champion)

7.1 The group had met with IT contacts to ensure that a new electronic system, separate from the ETHOS system used by ODPM, should be used. It was the groups aim to get a system in place by the start of 2006.

7.2 The Data Definition Group had met and was preparing a consultation document to go out to stakeholders (including the fire services) for wider debate over the included and excluded information.

7.2.1 Since heritage loss was to be included in the form, CADW (the Welsh equivalent of English Heritage) was being contacted to provide information as was being done in England and had been done by Historic Scotland.

7.3 The Chair reiterated his view that this form was critical in providing quality data from incidents. It also needed to only record an appropriate amount of data for each type of incident (as was planned).

7.4 Geoffrey Gower-Kerslake raised the issue of linking the data collected to the regulatory reform order on fire safety. He felt that since this was a risk based system, there would be a need for more data to ensure the system worked effectively, and not less.

8 Group Projects

8.1 The Group members were asked for comments on what aspects of fire information they would like the Group to look at.

8.2 Tony Paish suggested looking at better methods for determining the property loss in fires. He also raised the possibility that incidents covered by private brigades, MOD, or where no call was made would be missed. In particular, it was possible fire deaths would be missed. The Chair said that this was inevitable and that it was accepted that ODPM fire statistics may not be complete but deaths by fire were as accurately recorded as possible.

ACTION: David Champion undertook to find exactly how fire deaths were compiled, and what this would include.

8.3 Mitchell Rowan asked about measuring Community Fire Safety and CFS effectiveness.

8.3.1 Sheila Pantry asked if there is a central resource for CFS projects, and if there are methods of passing on successful ideas to other practitioners.

9 Any Other Business

9.1 Mick Eady has retired from HMFSI. The Group wished to place on record their thanks for the work he had done, and to wish him a very happy and long retirement. It was also noted that Ian Jerome had now left the Fire Protection Association (FPA) and as yet there had been no replacement for Ian.

9.2 The Chair undertook to write to both the FPA and HMFSI to ask for replacement members for the Group.

There being no further business the Chair wished everyone a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful and Prosperous New Year. The Meeting was then closed.

10 Date of Next Meeting

10.1 The next meeting will take place on Tuesday 1st March at 11.00 am in Ashdown House, conference room 4.