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Fire and Rescue Statistics User Group

29th Meeting of the
Fire & Rescue Statistics User Group
held on
3rd February 2010 at 12.00 noon
Ashdown House, Victoria St, SW1


Mr S Hunt


Mr P Woods

Fire Protection Association

Ms A Rogers

Greenstreet Berman

Ms S Pantry

Fire Information Group

Mr D Rae

Fire Service College

Ms K Bosley

Scottish Government

Ms Lindsay Bennison

Scottish Government

Ms Claire Davis

Welsh Assembly Govt

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 R Hocken

Communities and Local Government

Mr G Sayer

Communities and Local Government

Ms S Williams

Communities and Local Government

Mr J Gamble

Communities and Local Government

Mr I Gough




CLG should comment on the state of play in IRMP policy evaluation


  • there are still some documents etc on the Fire Gateway site, SH to try and retrieve them.
  • Send a comment from the group to director of CLG



Steve Hamm (Hants FRS) was co-ordinating a project based on Fire Investigation Reports into the scale of Large Loss fires.




Simon Hunt to speak to Mitchell Rowan to clarify issue of fire and climate change in relationship to performance indicators



Gavin Sayer invited suggestions from all for standard PI outputs


1. Chair's Introduction

Simon Hunt, Chair, welcomed everyone to the meeting.

2. Apologies

Cath Reynolds

Communities & Local Government

Tony Paish

World Fire Statistics Centre

Mike Coull

Historic Scotland

3. Minutes of the 28th Meeting

The minutes of the 28th Meeting were accepted with minor amendments as an accurate record of the meeting.

4. Matters Arising

Actions from the last meeting have been updated as above.

26/6: Dave Beverley stated that CLG as the responsible government department should comment on the reasons for closing public access to the Library at the Fire Service College. The Group needs to know what the plans, if any are, to replace the Gateway project. What is the CLG strategy for knowledge management? S Hunt agreed to prepare an update for the FRSUG website. The group agreed to send a letter to the director of Fire and Resilience to express our disappointment in the failure of the Fire Gateway and the general lack of knowledge management, including operational guidance and the FSC library.

26/9: Paul Woods reported on CFOA plans to set up a workshop to look at Fire Investigation (F.I.) in Large Loss Fires. Steve Hamm (Hants FRS) to put together the research based on F.I. Reports. FM Global (not ABI) to focus on the effectiveness of fire suppression systems - including the cost-effectiveness of sprinkler systems.

28/11: Jon Gamble agreed to pick up the perspective of the Welsh Assembly Government on PIs

ACTION - Gavin agreed to raise the whole issue of fires of special interest with Cath Reynolds in this context.

5. Update on CLG Research

The CLG Research programme has been circulated for consultation to stake-holders by Cath Reynolds. Simon Hunt agreed to find out if it had been circulated to FRSUG and needed to find out the closing date.

Rob Gazzard would welcome an opportunity to get the Forestry Commission included on the consultation list for future research.

6. European Union Fire Statistics

Alex Rogers (Greenstreet Berman) introduced the details of a forthcoming project into the proposal of a European fire statistics collection. Alex explained that she was keen to canvass widely among stake-holders while the project was at its inception. The project ends at a meeting of the EU Fire Safety Network on 15-16 June. Rob Gazzard sent a paper to the Cabinet Office about forest fires - he would be keen to pass it on to the EU as well because of forestry fire deaths.

ACTION - Jon Gamble agreed to provide Alex with the FRSUG contact details to facilitate this purpose.

7. IRMP Annual Returns

Gavin Sayer explained that a list of changes to IRMP returns was going to be sent out to English FRS by CLG. The number of items collected was to be reduced. Items that were already part of the CIPFA collection were to be dropped to avoid duplication and CLG had reached a data sharing agreement with CIPFA. CLG intends to publish data returns more quickly, using financial year reference periods. It was hoped that these changes would lead to a simplified, streamlined and more timely collection. Greater effort was going to be placed on explaining the use of IRMP data to FRS, for example by explaining their purpose on the web forms used to collect the data.

8. IRS Review

CLG was undertaking an initial review of the new IRS collection with a view to obtaining cost-effective functional improvements. The emphasis was on making changes that would prevent error: e.g. Changes to drop down menus, etc. The review would consider a prioritised list of changes to the IRS system through suggestions made via the Community of Practice forum and other consultative processes.

There is a CFOA group considering the range of options for RTC questions.

There is also an on-going work stream on equality and diversity with respect to the incidents attended.

9. Ops Information Project

CLG were currently undertaking a project to assist FRS in England by using an FSEC software toolkit to give National Guidance to assist them in adopting a common approach to identifying, gathering, analysing and providing operational information. It was due to be released in November 2010.

10. Developments in Key Areas & Review

(a) UK Wild Fires Statistics Report

Rob Gazzard reported that he had made submissions to the IRS Review on the issues of climate change and hectarage in outdoor fire reporting. Rob has been working with the Centre for Ecology and the Environment to be able to carry out calculations for the carbon released by burning areas of woodland and grassland. It would be possible to improve these calculations using more detailed data from IRS, if the greater detail were included. These details include, for example, the maturity of the trees. He was hoping that these changes would lead to an "outcome based system".

ACTION - Rob to resend the questions to Gavin Sayer, who agreed to forward the climate change question directly to Greenstreet Berman.

Rob requested the endorsement of the group in his second paper. He was to take it to the English Wildfire Forum on 23/24th February 2010.

(b) - (e) were not reported on due to time constraints (FRSUG website; Currently Available Statistics spreadsheet; Data Sharing Group; IRS Review Group)

(f) Dissemination Activities - to promote the FRSUG and its activities

Dennis Davis reported on plans to co-ordinate a "Bringing Fire Statistics to Life" session at the annual Fire Conference in Harrogate on June 30th. The FRSUG agreed to email any constructive suggestions to Dennis for consideration. It was also proposed that the next FRSUG meeting was held in the margins of the Fire exhibition.

There is a Fire Information Group meeting at the Fire service College in September. The FSC data manager will be invited to attend because there is considerable interest in the FSC business plan. FOBFO have received no comment from the FSC in response to their queries on the business plan.

Fire Research Academy - John Woodcock initiated action on the Academy but no more has been heard since then.

11. Fire Statistics Monitor

GS described the sections of the paper "Fire Statistics Monitor - future evolution" which had been circulated with the agenda for this meeting, highlighting:

  • additional tables have been and will be added to the Monitor and that the same is planned for Fire Statistics UK;
  • the intention for the commentary in the monitor to focus on England and on financial year periods, the content of future data tables would be considered in consultation with the Devolved Administrations;
  • improved timeliness for the publication schedule with the Incident Recording System.

The group was invited to provide comment on any aspect of the paper, ideally by the end of February. The purpose of the changes was to increase synergy with other CLG-FRS collections. The next Monitor would be out around April/May time.

ACTION - Gavin agreed to communicate about the proposed changes with Mitchell Rowan.

12. Loughborough Research

Kirsty Bosley reported that the EPSRC funded project on the effects of fire safety in heritage and other buildings was on-going. Kirsty is to circulate the Loughborough presentation that outlines the project.

13. Scottish Research

  1. Lindsay Bennison had taken over responsibility for maintaining the Scottish Fire Statistics database. She was arranging visits to CLG Fire and Resilience Division to increase her understanding of various fire statistics related issues.
  2. Kirsty Bosley reported that the Scottish CFS study had been completed - there were 37 recommendations. Kirsty agreed to send the hyperlink details to Sheila Pantry to include on the FRSUG website.
  3. Scottish IRMP study - the Scottish Fire and Rescue Advisory unit (SFRAU) commenced the study in September 2009 and is due to be complete in July 2010. Scottish FRSs were asked to supply details of their top 10 projects commenced under the IRMP agenda. These are currently being assessed to give a picture of the effects that the introduction of IRMP has had in Scotland.

14. Any Other Business

Gavin Sayer reported that Fire statistics would be assessed by the UK Statistics Authority in early 2012.

Date of the next meeting: June 2010; Location - Harrogate Fire Exhibition