Fire and rescue services

January 2013

What do they do?

In addition to their more familiar fire-fighting role, local authority fire and rescue services (FRSs) have increasingly become important and valued partners in local community safety education and prevention initiatives. As a result, numbers of accidental dwelling fires and associated casualties have reduced significantly in recent years, and most FRSs now run outreach programmes aimed at the most at-risk and vulnerable groups.

FRSs also deal with emergencies such as flooding, chemical spills, and other complex community safety incidents. As the service which is usually among the first on the scene at road traffic accidents, fire crews can be a strong support for local road safety partnership working, sharing powerful first-hand knowledge and learning.

Fire and rescue service incident and operational data collections are published nationally and can provide valuable insights for prevention campaigns. Individual community fire safety teams may be able to supplement this intelligence with other local risk profiles and trends.

What is their role in child accident prevention?

As a substantial part of the fire service’s role is to prevent fires from occurring, they are heavily involved in community education and engagement. This involves teaching members of the community how to prevent fires, performing home safety checks, distributing free smoke alarms..

The work of fire and rescue services includes school visits and youth intervention projects, creating a strong safety presence within the local community. Examples of fire service assisted child injury prevention programmes include:

  • Safety days such as ‘crucial crew’, where representatives of fire and rescue walk children through a fire safety scenario to help them learn about the hazards of fire.
  • Riskwatch – a safety training programme for children and young people run by Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue. The service produces resources and provides training for children in schools to help them learn about potential risks.

More about fire and rescue

To find your nearest fire and rescue service, visit the .gov.uk site

For the latest national fire statistics visit the .gov.uk site

Updated June 2013