In a previous missive I bemoaned the fact that the role of Fire and Rescue Services (FRS), aka the Fire Brigade, had changed insofar as fire risk assessments are concerned. With the introduction of the RRO which applies primarily to the business sector Fire Risk Assessments – a key requirement of the new legislation – are now provided by a plethora of Fire Risk Consultants rather than the local FRS. At a cost of course -which tends to put a deterrent in the way of today’s cash strapped businesses.
Happily this is not the case for homeowners concerned about fire safety. Since 2004 the Government can, it is only fair to say (if somewhat unfashionable) claim a success for its initiative to provide £25 million funding for Home Fire Risk Safety Checks (HFRSC) carried out by the FRS and rolled out throughout England to protect the public from fire in their own homes.
An independent report published at the end of March showed lives have been saved and fires prevented thanks to the success of firefighters carrying out Home Fire Risk Safety Checks.
On the face of it the figures are significant with 53 lives saved – a fall of 57 per cent in lives lost through fires in the home and a reduction in fire related injuries of 888. Overall compared to 2004 the incidence of home fires is down by over 13000.
The fire risk assessment covers all types of fire risk including lifestyle choices like smoking. Central to the initiative is the installation of a smoke detector in every home free of charge and advice on maintenance and simple common sense fire precautions. Thus far some 2.4 million smoke alarms have been installed.
The FRS scheme is still running so if you have concerns – as you should- about fire safety or have a vulnerable relative ask your Fire and Rescue Service for a home fire safety check and get a smoke alarm installed.