Prevention Work Helps To Reduce Incidents
Tuesday, 09 October 2012
Incidents attended by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service have been reduced by almost 7,500 over the past five years.
Prevention work by the Service, particularly in installing smoke alarms, carrying out home fire safety checks and partnership work in the community, has helped to significantly reduce the number of call-outs.
From the period 2007/08 to 2011/12 there has been a reduction of 7,494 call-outs, with a total of 19,702 recorded during 2011/12.
There was an average of 20 fewer incidents per day attended by MF&RS in the last financial year compared to five years ago.
Over those five years accidental fires in the home across Merseyside have gone down by 119 incidents to 1195 in 2011/12. Deaths caused by accidental fires in the home have fallen from nine to five during that period and from more than 20 a decade ago.
Community Safety Teams and firefighters have carried out a range of fire prevention work, including home fire safety checks and installing smoke alarms as well as working with partners to provide safer methods of heating and cooking.
Fires at non-domestic properties have also been reduced by 120 over the five years to 448 incidents in 2011/12.
Deliberate fires have been almost halved with 5,504 fewer incidents. There
were 7,378 deliberate fires in 2011/12, compared to 12,883 in 2007/08.
Advocates focusing on reducing anti-social behaviour and arson have carried out a range of work in communities and schools. The MF&RS Incident Investigation Team investigates deliberate fires and works with Merseyside Police to bring perpetrators to justice.
MF&RS Street Intervention Teams have engaged with the community in target areas with the aim of reducing deliberate fires resulting from anti-social behaviour.
Road traffic collisions also saw a reduction from 758 to 505 in the five years. A series of initiatives have been carried out, including a Drive To Arrive (D2A) campaign in schools, aimed at those who are approaching the age of taking their driving licence. Firefighters have also carried out live road traffic collision demonstrations across Merseyside to show how people are rescued following a crash.
False alarms, regardless of type, were reduced by 1,295 to 7365 incidents in 2011/12.
However, there was an increase in the number of "automatic false alarms" with 5,558 attended in 2011/12 compared to 5,482 in 2007/08. Automatic false alarms are call-outs to public buildings and business premises, where there is actually no fire.
The Service is due to introduce a new approach to automatic fire alarms, which is intended to significantly reduce the number of false alarms attended.
MF&RS Deputy Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan said: "A huge amount of prevention work has been carried out over the past five years to reach the most vulnerable people in our communities.
"The success of this work can be seen in the reduction of incidents across Merseyside over the past five years.
“However that success will be difficult to sustain as Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service faces further financial pressures. In December the Government will announce the Service’s grant allocation."
Councillor Dave Hanratty, Chair of Merseyside Fire Authority, said: "This is a real success story and the hard work of the staff should be commended. They have been absolutely brilliant.
"However, if the Service receives further large cuts to its grant, this would have a serious impact on our ability to carry out the important prevention work that has helped reduce incidents and has helped make our communities safer."
Photo of firefighters, taken by Chris Phillips.