Preventing fires and other emergencies from happening
Our prevention priorities are to:
- Reduce the number and impact of fires in the home
- Reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads
- Reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in water related incidents
- Reduce the number and impact of deliberate (arson) fires
- Positively engage with and educate young people to support their development, reduce risk and promote good citizenship
- Support community health and wellbeing when delivering our home fire safety visits
- Improve the reach, output, and effectiveness of our prevention activity
- Improve our understanding of community risk
Our approach is to:
- Use an intelligence led, risk-based approach to target the vulnerable and most at risk from fire and other emergencies
- Maximise our capacity and reach through use of specialists, firefighters, volunteers, and partners
- Work collaboratively with other agencies and partners to deliver more effective prevention activities
- Ensure continuous improvement through quality assurance and evaluation of our prevention activities
- Investigate the cause of fires and support the detection and prosecution of arson offences
- Align our prevention activity to national fire standards and best practice
Our delivery of Home Fire Safety Visits (HFSV) has contributed to a significant reduction in the annual number of accidental fires in the home in Bedfordshire. Our HFSV is fully aligned to the national NFCC Person Centred Framework guidance. In addition, we support community health and wellbeing services by making referrals to specialist services for falls and frailty, alcohol consumption, crime prevention, smoking cessation, and winter warmth.
We also work with other public sector organisations, such as housing providers and health services to exchange relevant information about people who need support and make sure they receive a visit from the person best placed to help them. In 2020 we launched a new online safe and well portal to enable the public and partners to easily request a HFSV and in 2023 have launched a new ‘e-form’ to collect data more efficiently and accurately during our HFSVs.
Deliberate fires account for a large proportion of the emergency incidents we attend. Our prevention strategy is focused on working with partners including the police, local authorities, and other agencies to understand where the areas of greatest risk are, and to work together to reduce the number of deliberate fires that occur, analysing data and investigating fire related crimes to ensure appropriate action is taken against offenders. We also deliver targeted educational activities to change the behaviours of those people who are likely to commit arson. Although the smaller fires we attend are, to some extent, linked to the prevailing weather conditions, there is a recognised link between deliberately set small fires and other forms of antisocial behaviour. Data shows that young people start a large proportion of these fires so education and engagement with this group is key to reducing these incidents.
We are an active partner on the Bedfordshire Strategic Road Safety Partnership Board which brings together the key agencies with responsibility for safety on our roads. We undertake a range of interventions particularly targeting vulnerable road users. Many of these initiatives are delivered jointly with other partners including police and local authority.
Examples include Biker Down and Bike Safe delivered by our Fire Bike team of Road Traffic Collision Reduction Officers (RTCRO). Road safety education is now delivered using virtual reality technology. We are actively supporting national and local road safety campaigns through social media and live events.
Our Fire Cadets
We have four Fire Cadet Units based at Bedford, Leighton Buzzard, Luton, and Sandy Community Fire Stations. We focus on teaching practical skills to young people and developing positive behaviours to create role models in society. As well as learning about the fire and rescue service, Cadet’s support Fire Station Open Days, charitable events and fundraising and civic events.
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility; we are committed to protecting children, young people and adults from abuse and neglect. We strive to promote the safety, dignity, and wellbeing of people in the communities we serve. Our targeted prevention work results in us interacting more with children, young people and adults who may be at risk of harm, safeguarding is therefore an increasing part of our role. Since 2022, we have employed a safeguarding advisor and established a Safeguarding Team. Our Safeguarding Team have enhanced our safeguarding practice by utilising in depth knowledge and expertise to support those who raise concerns. In addition, our Safeguarding team utilise data and report thematically to inform and work with partner agencies to support positive outcomes for victims of abuse and neglect.