The Fire Standards Board (FSB) have launched its seventh professional Fire Standard – Prevention.
Alongside the Protection Fire Standard, which is due for publication in early September, this sees completion of Fire Standards covering the three pillars of service delivery for fire and rescue services – Operational Response, Prevention and Protection.
With Prevention specifically, and in response to the findings from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), targeting the right people; having consistency in the approach taken; and evaluating their Prevention activities, are key to improving the health, safety and wellbeing of communities.
The Prevention Fire Standard is underpinned by the work of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Prevention Programme, whose work on the Person-Centred Approach and other guidance and tools will be pivotal to supporting services in future.
A Fire Standard focussed on Resilience and Emergency Planning is part of the next phase of standards development. Other Fire Standards in development include;
- Fire Investigation;
- Leadership standards covering Service Leadership, Developing Leaders and Service Management; and
- Data Management.
The journey to develop the first professional Fire Standards for services in England in over 10 years started in 2019 with the establishment of the FSB. To help determine the scope of the Fire Standards, work was undertaken by the FSB to understand the activities carried out by all services and where standards were needed and should apply. This resulted in the development of an Activity Framework.
The framework acts as a road map for the FSB helping it to plan its development work and to identify and avoid areas of overlap or duplication. The FSB found that much of what would support each Fire Standard already existed in the form of good practice guidance and tools produced by the NFCC. However, without the national recognition that a Fire Standard provides, application across the country was varied and inconsistent.
The Board considered many factors when deciding on the scope of each standard and the order in which they should be produced. They felt it imperative that the first standards to be developed should help to address the areas for improvement identified and highlighted by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS). Driving improvement and seeing more consistency in how services deliver to the public across the country, is the Board’s overarching goal.
FSB Chair, Suzanne McCarthy, said: “Ensuring that services target the right people when delivering prevention initiatives and effectively evaluate their work is essential to help reduce risks and prevent harm in our communities. Like all Fire Standards, this standard will help clarify what is expected of services to enable them to deliver the best service possible to the public no matter where in England.”
Fire Minister Lord Greenhalgh said: “I am delighted that another Fire Standard is being launched to provide clear expectations and support to our fire and rescue services.
“This Prevention Standard sets the bar so that fire and rescue services can keep communities all over England safe by taking a consistent, targeted approach to stop fires from happening in the first place.”