“An Excellent Authority”

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					“An Excellent Authority”
       The Community Fire Safety Strategy
       is integral to our corporate planning
       process. It provides a high level view
       of our approach and ambitions in
       the area of community safety and
       is underpinned with a series of
       individual strategies – arson, youth,
       violence at work, etc – that deal with
       specific themes. This strategy is
       reflected in the Authority’s Integrated
       Risk Management Plan, annual
       Service Plan and Financial Plan that
       incorporate the individual targets
       and milestones for specific
       actions and projects.

pg 2
Community Fire Safety Strategy                    introduction


                                 To work in partnership to
                                 provide an excellent, affordable
                                 service to all the diverse
                                 communities of Merseyside
                                 that will:

                                 • Reduce risk throughout
                                   the community by protective
                                   community services

                                 • Respond quickly to
                                   emergencies with skilful staff

                                 • Restore and maintain
                                   the quality of life in our

                                                                 pg 3
introduction                                                               Community Fire Safety Strategy

The Challenge
Speed of response alone will      discriminates. Fire deaths and     It is the combination 44
not reduce the tragic impact      injuries have a strong link with   Prevention, Protection
of fire. The largest cause of      social deprivation and health      Intervention and Recovery
deaths and injuries from fire      and well being. Fire impacts       that act as pieces in the
occur accidentally in the home.   disproportionately on the          community safety jigsaw.
When fire breaks out, it often     vulnerable in the community
spreads so quickly that by the    in the most vulnerable areas.
time the fire service arrives,     Deliberate fires – arson – are
it is too late. Along with the    30 times higher in poorer areas
very personal suffering when      compared to affluent areas.
lives are lost and property       In other areas of our work such
destroyed, the wider financial     as road traffic collisions there
impact of fire is profound.        is a further social dimension
The estimated cost of fire         that needs to be tackled at
in 2003 was £7.7 billion Fire     its root cause if prevention
                                  strategies are to be effective.

pg 4
Community Fire Safety Strategy                                            introduction

                                 Merseyside Fire and Rescue        As our work draws on the
We will                          Service invests considerable      core values of the fire and
continue                         resource into prevention          rescue service, our actions
                                 services. The Fire and Rescue     increasingly produce
to develop                       Services Act puts prevention      much wider benefits to
strategies                       at the heart of the UK Fire       the community, promoting
                                 Service. This commitment is       independent living,
and measures                     reinforced by the Government      encouraging people to live
aimed at                         target; “by March 2010
                                 to reduce the number of
                                                                   their lives safer, supporting
                                                                   improved community wellbeing
preventing                       accidental fire related deaths     and contributing towards
                                 in the home by 20% and the        improved health.
the outbreak                     number of deliberate fires
of fire by                       by 10%”.
training and                     This provides a statutory
education.                       duty on fire services to plan
                                 a response to all foreseeable
                                 emergency events that may
                                 occur within their area.
                                 Whilst our community risk
                                 prevention work still has fire
                                 as its cornerstone; our work is
                                 steadily expanding to include
                                 road traffic and pedestrian
                                 safety, health and well-being
                                 anti social behaviour, drugs
                                 and alcohol misuse, hate crime
                                 and programmes to reduce

                                                                                            pg 5
prevention                                                          Community Fire Safety Strategy

Home Fire Safety Checks
We recognise that a Home Fire Safety Check
and the fitting of smoke alarms is perhaps
the most effective way of reducing risk from
fire. We are committed to reach as many homes
as possible in Merseyside with this service
and provide it free wherever possible.
The Home Fire Safety Check        In 1999, we embarked on
(HFSC) remains the flagship        an ambitious programme to
of our Community Safety           visit Merseyside’s 560,000
Strategy. A HFSC is a free        Homes and offer a free HFSC.
service that aims to identify     We have now visited, including
potential accidental causes of    re-visits, over half and fitted
fire in the home, and inform the   hundreds of thousands of
occupier of how to make simple    smoke alarms. This includes
changes to their property or      a number of specialist alarms
lifestyle in order to reduce      for deaf people. No other
the risk of an accidental fire     Fire & Rescue Service in the
occurring. HFSCs are carried      country has achieved this level
out by operational fire fighters,   of HFSC delivery.
smoke detectors where fitted
are always checked for their
suitability and where none are
fitted, firefighters will fit them
free of charge.

pg 6
Community Fire Safety Strategy                                     prevention

The Fire Support Network/Volunteering
                                 Fire Support Network is a        Their main aim is to promote
People from                      registered charity and was       fire safety awareness
the community                    initially grant aided by the     through voluntary activity and
                                 Home Office Active Community      partnership work within all
who volunteer                    Unit and has now entered into    sections of the community.
to help their                    a working partnership (Service   The objectives set for FSN are:
                                 Level Agreement) with MF&RS.
communities                                                       • To recruit & train volunteers
offer a                          Fire Support Network is a
                                 voluntary organisation based
                                                                  • To provide a friendly and
                                                                    accessible focal point of
tremendous                       throughout Merseyside              contact between the local
                                 in ten separate MF&RS              community and the Fire
potential for                    locations involving hundreds       Service
improving the                    of volunteers from the local     • To promote and raise fire
                                 community.                         safety awareness within all
quality of                                                          sections of the community.
life in that                                                      • To support the service’s
                                                                    progress towards a fire-safe
community. We                                                       community
are committed                                                     • To involve all sections of
                                                                    the community focusing on
to working                                                          participation from diverse
with the                                                          • To promote social inclusion
third sector                                                      • To seek funds and develop
                                                                    programmes and initiatives
and investing                                                       for working with children and
in it to draw                                                       young people.

on the skills,
experience and
enthusiasm of

                                                                                             pg 7
prevention                                                               Community Fire Safety Strategy

Fire Service Direct
We are committed to using all means available
to reach those at risk in the community by
using modern technology. We also create a
means by which the community can reach us
should they want help or advice.

Fire Service Direct (FSD) is a   By April 2006 the FSD approach    • Utilising the freephone
modern way of both reaching      generated HFSCs in more than        service to engage with our
people throughout the local      half of the 560,000 homes in        Community by answering
community to offer our           Merseyside. In addition to this     queries on other a aspects
services and also be a medium    it has expanded the call centre     of our service, such as
to receive their requests or     approach beyond telephone           recruitment and training
questions.                       appointments to support our       • Establishing a database
                                 Community Safety initiatives,       of HFSC’s that has enabled
                                 for example:                        independent impact analysis
                                                                     of community safety
                                                                     campaigns and assisted in
                                                                     planning at both local and
                                                                     strategic level in relation to
                                                                     home fire risk
                                                                   • Qualitative targeting of HFSC
                                                                     appointments by focusing on
                                                                     hard to reach groups that are
                                                                     more vulnerable to the home
                                                                     fire risk.

pg 8
Community Fire Safety Strategy                                        prevention

Community Safety Advocates
                                 Whilst Merseyside Fire &           We have a victim profile for fire
We are                           Rescue Service have had            and identified eleven theme
committed to                     tremendous success in              areas covering vulnerable
                                 accessing a great many homes,      and/ or hard to reach people.
employ staff                     we realise that there are          We committed in our Integrated
who reflect                      vulnerable members of our          Risk Management Plan to
                                 community who are hard to          recruit a range of Fire Safety
the advise                       reach and/or hard to influence.     advocates acting as specialists
diverse                          An accidental fire death
                                                                    in the theme areas. The theme
                                                                    areas identified were:
community we                     is always a tragic event,
                                 however it is important that       • older people
serve as, by                     the victim and any elements        • the deaf community
doing so, we                     of their lifestyle that may have   • people living with disabilities
                                 contributed to their death         • drug & alcohol dependency
will deliver                     is profiled during the fire          • training carers
an even better                   investigation and any identified    • mental health
                                 trends are used to shape           • minority communities
service and                      our proactive community            • arson
reach all                        safety work.                       • refugees and asylum seekers
                                                                    • anti-social behaviour
parts of the                                                        • youth work.
community.                                                          These Advocates are an
                                                                    integral part of the front-line
                                                                    delivery of our service and
                                                                    bring a wide range of specialist
                                                                    knowledge and experience
                                                                    to enable us to offer an even
                                                                    better service to those who
                                                                    need us most.

                                                                                                 pg 9
prevention                                                                Community Fire Safety Strategy

Safer, Healthier Communities
Fire and other emergencies invariably have
a social dimension. There is a strong link
between social deprivation, poor health
and higher risk from fire. We believe that
by helping improve health, we can reduce
vulnerability including risk from fire.
Our focus on preventing           A fire related injury will often   Much of our work with children
accidental fires in the home,      result in prolonged hospital      and young people focuses
has led us to identify areas      admissions, and in the case       on developing fitter and
that make people particularly     of burns, the treatment           healthier lifestyles. Working
vulnerable to fire and this        programme may last for            in partnership with primary
has shown that there are          tens of years. Impacting on       care trusts, we can impact
clear links between fire and       anti-social behaviour fires        significantly on people’s
health. Our commitment in         creates a cleaner safer           attitudes to:
tackling vulnerability with       environment, reduces the
regard to older persons issues,   general perception and fear       • Drug and alcohol
disabilities, deaf, alcohol and   of crime, and improves            • Smoking
drug dependency (including        general well being.               • Keeping fit
prescribed drugs), has led to                                       • Sexual health.
multi-agency case conferences
and signposting opportunities                                       This approach extends to older
that would have previously                                          people (our most vunerable
gone unreported.                                                    group) by giving access to our
                                                                    fire stations gyms for people
                                                                    suffering from heart disease
                                                                    or recovery from heart surgery.

pg 10
children & Young People                                          Community Fire Safety Strategy

Youth engagement and our work
with children and young people
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service continue
to demonstrate a long term commitment to
working with children and young people in the
community. Our youth programmes seek to:

Provide                   The Department for              We integrate this work
                          Communities and Local           with the five cornerstones
opportunities             Government has launched         of ‘Every Child Matters’:
for children and          the Strategy for Children and
                          Young People. Our Children      1. Keeping children safe
young people              and Young Peoples Engagement    2. Helping achieve economic
                          Strategy ensures excellence        wellbeing
Raise awareness           in our work with children and   3. Enjoy themselves
of the risks to           young people and drives our     4. Making a positive
                          partnership working with the       contribution
them in their             communities in which we work.   5. Staying healthy.
communities and
strategies to
reduce that risk
community links
to reduce the
impact of anti-
social behaviour

                                                                                       pg 11
partnerships                                    Community Fire Safety Strategy

Strategic partnership working
                 To work effectively, we work
We recognise     with the experts in their
that no one      relevant fields. We engage
                 with partners on:
agency or
body, working    • The Local Strategic
in isolation,    • Children and Young Peoples
can solve all      Strategic Partnerships
                 • Crime and Disorder
the safety         Reduction Partnership
                   Arson Control Forum
issues within    • Road safety strategic
a community.       partnership
                 • Fire support network.
By working
with others,
we can be more
and have a
wide ranging

pg 12
Community Fire Safety Strategy                                      protection

Threat Response Group
                                 The world and our society has     The concept of Threat
We are                           changed dramatically in the       Response will see the Group
committed                        last 5 years. Public awareness    working closely with a range
                                 and expectation has been          of partners to monitor, track
to build on                      sharpened by the world events     and respond to existing and
our close                        that began with 9/11 and lead     emerging threats to the
                                 onto London on 7/7 and 21/7.      communities of Merseyside
partnership                                                        from Criminal and Terrorist
with the                         Our communities also have
                                 expectations closer to home
                                                                   behaviour. We will also
                                                                   incorporate a range of skills
Police to                        to deal with criminality in       to investigate fires to determine
                                 terms of arson, criminal          lessons that can be learnt
improve our                      damage, attacks on firefighters,    to hopefully prevent similar
ability                          anti-social behaviour and         situations in the future.
                                 incidents utilising fireworks,
to manage                        sometimes referred to as
criminality                      ‘Urban Terrorism’.

with respect                     We have achieved a great deal
to fire and                      in combating criminality in
                                 relation to fire. The Arson Task
improve our                      Force regularly receives praise
                                 for its prevention work in
ability                          schools and communities and
to deal                          the FIRST (Fireworks Incident
                                 Research Safety) team is not
with other                       only regarded nationally as
incidents such                   a centre of excellence in the
                                 control of fireworks misuse,
as chemical                      but were recently awarded the
spills,                          status of ‘Merseyside Police
                                 Team of the Year’ in response
explosives                       to their successes locally.
and joint
                                                                                              pg 13
protection                          Community Fire Safety Strategy

             Business Continuity
                              Merseyside Fire and Rescue
             We recognise     Service work with occupiers to
             the importance   ensure effective management
                              of fire safety systems in order
             of our role in   to minimise false alarms and
             supporting the   reduce disruption to business
             and              We have developed risk
                              assessments that plan for
             maintenance      an early return to normality
                              following any incident through
             of business      partnership working with
             and other        companies that include ISS
                              Ark who carry out vital salvage
             operations       work even as firefighters are
             in Merseyside    still engaged in firefighting
             as part of
             the Economic
             of the region.

pg 14
Community Fire Safety Strategy                                           protection

We will continue to develop strategies
and measures embedded in legislation
for protecting lives, buildings and the
environment from the impact of fire.
To make Merseyside a safer,         The risk assessment must           The service’s fire safety
stronger place MFRS works           ensure that every premises has:    engineers work with
proactively to prevent fires                                            consultants and developers
occurring. It strives to protect    • Adequate means of escape         to ensure that fire suppression
all premises by enforcing fire       • Fire detection and warning       systems such as sprinklers
safety legislation, utilising         systems                          and water mist systems are
where appropriate innovative        • Means for fighting the fire        incorporated into new build
engineered fire safety               • Adequately trained               and major refurbishments at
solutions and aiding business         employees                        the design stage.
continuity. We also promote the     • Where necessary, measures
widespread use of sprinklers          that are provided for the        The service works with other
where appropriate to protect          protection of firefighters,        agencies and authorities to
lives, education and our              are maintained                   encourage the installation
                                    • In respect of dangerous          of sprinklers and water mist
                                      substances, that immediate       systems in schools and new
                                                                       build residential properties.
Regulatory Reform                     steps are taken to mitigate
(Fire Safety) Order 2005              the effects of fire and resolve
                                                                       Through our programme of
                                      the situation to normal.
                                                                       HFSCs, the service identifies
The order reforms the law                                              ‘high risk residents’ and
relating to fire safety in non-      MFRS provides a team of            works with the responsible
domestic premises. There is         skilled fire safety officers         authorities to reduce the risk
a duty placed upon owners           who enforce the legislation        by the provision of stand alone
and occupiers, or their appointed   and ensure owner/occupiers         sprinkler systems.
responsible person, to take         comply with their statutory
such fire precautions as may         obligations. This is achieved      These initiatives minimise
reasonably be required in the       by carrying out a rigorous         the impact of fire on society
circumstances, to ensure that       programme of inspections.          by reducing the likelihood of
premises are safe and risk                                             death and injury, minimising
assessment has been carried out.    MFRS works to encourage            the damage to property and
                                    the use and development of         the subsequent disruption to
                                    fire suppression systems.           normal activities.

                                                                                                  pg 15
protection                                                        Community Fire Safety Strategy

Intelligence Arson Task Force
Management The ATF is one of the most
             significant successes for
The cornerstone of this work     MF&RS in recent years.
is the formulation of an         The arson reduction advocates
‘Intelligence Management         are making significant impacts
Unit’ that will record, study    with their Community Safety
and analyse information          Teams. A key element of
gathered from a range of         work is the partnership with
sources (fires, investigations,   Merseyside Police in targeting
enforcement activities,          anti-social behaviour within
partners and the public).        our communities. The extended
                                 work of Risk Assessments
                                 and the development of Hate
                                 Crime response has been an
                                 important advancement in the
                                 proactive work the Service
                                 does in its protection of our

pg 16
Community Fire Safety Strategy                                        protection

FIRST (Fireworks Incident Research Team)
FIRST has seen a significant       Incident Investigation            We are expanding our expertise
reduction in criminality and                                        through the recruitment of
anti social behaviour involving   The current provision for         staff with CSI (Crime Scene
fireworks within Merseyside.       incident investigation (Fire,     Investigation) skills to ensure
Investigations have revealed      Accident and Road Collision)      that scenes are preserved and
wider implications of criminal    has been reviewed with the        investigated to the same high
behaviour associated with         interest of taking the previous   standards as those employed
illegal fireworks storage, sale    successes of investigating        by the Police.
and use (handling stolen goods,   serious fires and using the
money laundering, drugs           same approach at all levels of    Whether it be arson, firework
offences etc.).                   investigation, from nuisance      abuse, incident investigation or
                                  fires to malicious fatal fire       just anti-social fire behaviour,
                                  investigation.                    we are committed to working
                                                                    with Merseyside Police, local
                                                                    districts and many other
                                                                    partners to reduce the impact
                                                                    on the local community and
                                                                    will provide resources and
                                                                    expertise to support that

                                                                                               pg 17
protection                                                               Community Fire Safety Strategy

Anti-Social Behaviour
Anti-Social Behaviour is a key issue
for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.
The success of the Arson Task    The TRG is an alliance of         The role of The TRG remains
Force is widely acknowledged     specialised teams within          steadfast in addressing the
throughout Merseyside, both      MF&RS focusing on the             problem areas of anti social
internally and by partner        prevention, deterrence,           behaviour fires, vehicle fires,
agencies. The Arson Task Force   detection and prosecution         deliberate property fires and
has contributed to significant    of individuals involved fire       Violence at work issues.
advancements in the proactive    related anti social behaviour.    Also, with the shared
element of community fire         Existing relationships with       knowledge and expertise
safety within Merseyside.        partner agencies will be          provided by the TRG.
Despite these successes,         reinforced and developed
MF&RS continue to review         to acquire a more proactive
internal structures to ensure    approach to dealing with
we provide the best level of     offenders or those at risk
service to the communities       of committing arson.
of Merseyside, in terms of       In tackling fire related
preventing and responding        criminality, the TRG have
to incidents. Consequently,      employed six Anti Social
The Arson Task Force will now    Behaviour Advocates and
play an integral role within     embedded them within
MF&RS’s newly formed Threat      Merseyside Police’s Anti-Social
Response Group (TRG).            Behaviour Task Force.

pg 18
Community Fire Safety Strategy                                       protection

Road Traffic Collision Reduction
For the first time, Fire and       Merseyside Fire and Rescue       Across Merseyside, the two
Rescue Services across the        Service will work with the       groups that are not set to meet
United Kingdom have a duty to     Merseyside Strategic Road        the target are children and
reduce road traffic collisions.    Safety Planning Group and        young people aged 15-25 and
The Fire and Rescue Service       will adopt the Merseyside        motorcycle riders. We will work
National Framework, The           Travel Plan.                     with partners to target these
Children’s Act 2004, The Every                                     two groups.
Child Matters Outcomes            We will measure our
Framework, the IRMP3 and our      performance by:
mission to make Merseyside
a safer, stronger community,      • Adopting the Merseyside
further places a responsibility     Travel Plan target to reduce
to be proactive in preventing       by 40% the total numbers
fires and other risks.               killed and seriously injured
                                    by 2010 (baseline 2004)
In 2004 the Police recorded       • Reduce by 55% the total
over 7000 people are injured        numbers of children killed
on the roads of Merseyside.         or seriously injured by 2010
Each day, two people are killed     (baseline 2004)
or seriously injured. We know     • Maintain the current levels
that the most vulnerable and        of slight casualties.
disadvantaged communities
suffer the most.

                                                                                             pg 19
Measuring Performance
Annual performance measures are set for
each programme and are included in the
service IRMP, community safety and station
performance management systems.
Evaluation                     Monitoring and Review            External review and reporting

Evaluation is the systematic   Programmes and initiatives       Many of our programmes are
and objective review of an     evolve through feedback          funded by partners. To obtain
ongoing or completed project   received from customers,         and maintain funding, users
or programme, its design,      funders and service users.       give regular feedback and are
implementation and results.    Our initiatives are subject to   evaluated to ensure they are
The aim of evaluation is to    pre and post course evaluation   providing best value.
determine the value, impact,   with regular management
sustainability and relevance   group meetings to assess and,
of the work compared to some   as required, amend packages
pre-determined objectives.     and strategies.
All community safety
programmes are subject
to periodic independent
evaluation. The service has
a contestable research fund;
Liverpool University and
John Moores University have
previously evaluated service

pg 20
We recognise the speed of
response to emergencies is
important to a successful
outcome and, in particular,
the speed of response of
the first appliance to a
property fire.
We will continue to develop strategies and measures for
reacting and responding to the outbreak of fire.

                                                          pg 21
Underpinning Documents
1. Race Equality Scheme
2. Integrated Risk Management Plan
3. Beacon project
4. Arson Reduction strategy
5. Violence at Work strategy
6. Enforcement and Prosecution Policy
7. Together action plan
8. Respect agenda
9. Beacon ASB submission
10. Fire Investigation regional MOU
11. Road traffic collision reduction strategy
12. Children and young peoples engagement strategy
13. National Framework Document

pg 22
pg 23
“An Excellent Authority”

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