Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants
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Facilities Management & Fire Safety - Community Fire Safety - Part 6

Posted by LWF: 17/06/2019 14:40

In LWF’s blog series for those who work in Facilities Management, or who have an interest in or responsibility for fire safety, we have been looking at community fire safety. In part 5, we looked at how government initiatives and programmes have impacted fire safety in homes and schools, including the home fire risk checks undertaken by the Fire Service.  In part 6, we will continue discussing community fire safety by looking at some of the result statistics following campaigns and promotions.

From the very first efforts made in localised areas by the Fire Service, it was established that where fire safety was actively promoted in the community, there was a noticeable reduction in the number of fires and where there were fires, a reduction in casualties from fire and its effects. Statistics maintained by the Fire and Rescue Services showed a reduction of between two-thirds and half in the number of fire-related deaths in various areas including Scotland, Lothian and Borders; West Midlands and Northern Ireland.

National fire statistics reflect the efforts of local area work and also, those nationwide campaigns undertaken by the government. For instance, since the publication of ‘Smoke Alarms for the Home’ in 1988, domestic annual deaths from fire have shown a downward trend. In 2004, the total number of deaths from fire was 508, which was the lowest recorded for 45 years. 

In the case of domestic fires causing death, 375 fatalities were recorded in 2004. There were 263 fire-related fatalities in dwelling fires in 2017/18. This compared with 214 in the previous year (an increase of 23%). The 2017/18 figure includes 71 fire-related fatalities from the Grenfell Tower fire, although some sources indicate that there were 72 fatalities as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire.

While the occurrence of such a terrible disaster caused an outpouring of grief and a wish to ensure it never happens again, it can still be seen that overall, deaths from fires overall and in the domestic environment are decreasing in England*.

If you are interested in reading more statistics relating to the Fire and Rescue Services work in England* (Fire Services and statistics are devolved and so Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are covered separately) you can access the 2018 Home Office Fire Statistics report.

In part 7 of this series, LWF will continue to look at community fire safety work. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact Peter Gyere in the first instance on 0800 410 1130.

Lawrence Webster Forrest is a fire engineering consultancy based in Surrey with over 25 years' experience, which provides a wide range of consultancy services to professionals involved in the design, development and construction and operation of buildings. 

While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF's publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.

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