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Fire and Rescue Statistics User Group

28th Meeting of the
Fire & Rescue Statistics User Group
held on
16th October 2009 at 11.00 am
CLG Headquarters, Eland House


Mr S Hunt


Ms S Pantry

Fire Information Group

Mr D Rae

Fire Service College

Mr T Paish

World Fire Statistics Centre

Ms K Bosley

Scottish Government

Mr M Coull

Grampian F&RS (Historic Scotland)

Mr M Rowan

London FRS

Mr D Smith

Fire Industry Association

Mr R Gazzard


Mr D Beverley


Mr D Davis


Mr S Emery

English Heritage

Mr G Sayer

Communities and Local Government

Ms S Williams

Communities and Local Government

Mr J Gamble

Communities and Local Government



IRS guidance




Guidance on wildfire for the IRMPs was issued on website August last year. Dave Beverley expressed concern that those preparing IRMPs were not confident with the guidelines. Simon Hunt advised that this issue may be for the IRMP Steering Group. Cath Reynolds advised that there is an ongoing IRMP policy evaluation which is due to report soon in England. Kirsty Bosley confirmed that Scotland were going to review this year. It was suggested by Simon Hunt that the IRMP related statistic website links be added to the FRSUG website.



Dennis Davis confirmed that the Large Loss Fires has been moved on and the report was being brought to finalised stage. Paul Woods is co-ordinating the report. CLG had let a contract to review the data in preparation for publishing it. The report has identified some serious gaps in knowledge. A discussion followed regarding FI reporting noting that consistent data, saved on a database and including cause and buildings factors would improve the lessons learned. It was noted that the CFOA working group should call any meeting to discuss this further but that all round the table should be present and also the IFE Special Interest Group. CFRAU is trying to put a process in place to learn quick lessons from fires of special interest.




Simon Hunt confirmed that he had spoken to Kirstine Dale at the Met Office and they would welcome further dialogue. This should be tied into Rob Gazzards work as this progressed.


1. Chair's Introduction

Simon Hunt, Chair, welcomed everyone to the meeting.

2. Apologies

Ms C Reynolds

Communities and Local Government

Mr P Woods

Fire Protection Association

3. Minutes of the 27th Meeting

The minutes of the 27th Meeting were accepted as an accurate record of the meeting.

4. Matters Arising

Actions from the last meeting have been updated as above.

Sheila Pantry reported that the statistics information spreadsheet had been circulated to the group.

Dennis Davis agreed to update the group on developments in the knowledge management project at the FSC Library.

5. IRS review and development

Gavin Sayer presented a progress report on the implementation of the Incident Recording System (IRS) rollout since going live in the fourth quarter of 2007. A major review of IRS was being conducted by Greenstreet Berman on behalf of CLG. CLG had established an online forum on the Communities of Practice website for FRS to join/use to post comments/issues for the IRS Review to address. Gavin circulated to the group copies of his PowerPoint presentation which outlines the stages of the IRS Review. Gavin agreed to feed in any issues/concerns of the group into the review process. The review will produce a prioritised list of changes to be made to the IRS system.

Mike Coull raised the issue of collecting data about historic buildings. The FRSUG gave its strong endorsement to the importance of collecting this data via IRS. Gavin Sayer agreed to refer the FRSUG decision to the IRS Project Board.

ACTION - Gavin Sayer to report back to FRSUG on outcome of IRS Review process. The prioritised list of changes to IRS would be circulated to the group.

6. European Statistics

Gavin Sayer reported that a specification for work on the harmonisation of European fire statistics had been finalised. A contract had been submitted to tender. However, all projects were currently under review in CLG.

7. CTIF 2009 World Fire Statistics

Dennis Davis reported that the CTIF World Fire Statistics had been published.

8. ABI Fire, Arson and Recession

Dennis Davies reported that the ABI report on Fire, Arson and the Recession was in draft form and that publication was expected in December 2009.

9. Development of six key areas of our Group's work plan

  1. Rob Gazzard's UK Vegetation Fire Standards Report - see item a) below
  2. FRSUG website - Sheila Pantry had been updating site.
  3. Currently available statistics spreadsheet - Sheila Pantry is managing.
  4. Data Sharing Group - reflection upon other bodies who collect statistics in their own right, plus liaise with other statistics collection forums.
  5. IRS Review Group - a subgroup of the FRSUG to look into IRS changes and IRMP statistics.
  6. Dissemination Activities - see item f) below

10. Review of key area of the work plan

  1. Rob Gazzard's UK Vegetation Fire Standards Report - Rob Gazzard summarised the findings of the Wildfire statistics Report: the age of vegetation and size of peat deposits had a significant impact on the quantity of CO2 emissions. The relationship between wild fires and climate change was an area which needed greater investigation. More detailed fire data, involving the measurement of natural phenomena in fires by FRS - including information- about vegetation species burnt, its maturity, etc. was required. Rob hope that these needs would be address in the IRS Review.
    ACTION - Gavin Sayer to clarify with Fire Control if the MIS incident categories are capturing the relevant data
    ACTION - Simon Hunt to speak to Mitchell Rowan to clarify issue of fire and climate change in relationship to performance indicators
  2. FRSUG website - to create, update and maintain. Jon Gamble reported the development of a Communities of Practice website to provide a forum for the wider community of fire statistics users. FRSUG members are encouraged to join. The CoP site will also serve as an archive of fire-related documents. It is not intended to be an alternative to the official FRSUG site. Normal email distribution of relevant documents around the group would continue.
  3. Currently available statistics spreadsheet - Sheila pantry reported that she was managing this distribution.
  4. Data Sharing Group - nothing to report
  5. IRS Review Group - it was agreed that the FRSUG as a whole should monitor IRS changes and IRMP statistics developments.
  6. Dissemination Activities - general discussion including stall/event at Fire 2010 Conference.

11. CFOA PIs

Mitchell Rowan reported on the work of the Performance Improvement Network (28 FRS represented) on behalf of CFOA. The network were considering what information FRS should collect (on a voluntary basis) to replace BVPIs. Final documentation was expected to be published at the end of October 2009.

ACTION - Alan Baird agreed to liaise with Mitchell regarding the perspective of the Welsh Assembly on PIs.

ACTION - Gavin Sayer invited suggestions from all for standard PI outputs

12. RIP Cigarettes

David Rae reported that negotiations in the EU were ongoing around the proposal to introduce an EU standard based on ASTM for fire-safe cigarettes. The focus was currently upon Finland as a driver for change.

13. Fire Risk Assessment for Small Businesses

Sheila Pantry reported that the FRASB had been published.

14. CFS Evaluation

Kirsty Bosley reported that Scottish Community Fire Safety was to be launched in November.

15. IRS and how appliances are mobilised

Outcome subject to IRS Review

16. Scottish data review - what's gone, what's under consideration, who else is involved

The policy review of IRMP strategy in Scotland was on-going.

17. IRMP Returns

General discussion about the adequacy of input and coverage of all the returns: HR, CFS, H&S, Ops, etc. FRS keen to reduce burden of aggregation of HR data.

Dave Beverley reported the FBU document reviewing IRMP was available upon request from the FBU.

18. Any Other Business

A Canadian professor will take over the Geneva-based World Centre for Fire Statistics in 2010.

19. Date and location of Next Meeting (28th)

Next meeting to be arranged in Jan/Feb 2010.