The Fire Standards Board (FSB) has launched its seventh and eighth professional Fire Standards: Prevention and Protection.
The launch of these Fire Standards sees the completion of Fire Standards covering the three pillars of service delivery for fire and rescue services – Operational Response, Prevention and Protection.
The Protection Fire Standard addresses both the recommendations made by the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service (HMICFRS) findings with regards both to service capacity in terms of protection provision, and the raising of levels of fire engineering knowledge and understanding by operational and other relevant staff.
Protection is a vital activity undertaken by fire and rescue services, helping to ensure that the built environment for communities is safe. The Protection Fire Standard aims to support fire and rescue services to reduce risks and incidents in the built environment.
With Prevention specifically, and in response to the findings from HMICFRS; targeting the right people, having consistency in the approach taken and evaluating 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.
Implementation tools for both the Prevention and Protection Fire Standard have also been launched, following feedback received through fire and rescue service engagement activities.
Each tool has been created to assist services in planning, delivering, and reporting on their implementation of Fire Standards. A service may also wish to use them to provide useful evidence for HMICFRS inspections.
The tools will help services to record actions needed to be taken to move toward achieving the Fire Standard. When first completed, it will provide a benchmark from which progress can be measured over time.
Suzanne McCarthy, FSB Chair, said, “Ensuring that services target the right people when delivering prevention initiatives and that they effectively evaluate their work is essential to help to reduce risks and prevent harm in our communities.
“The Board also recognises the importance of the Protection Fire Standard and the contribution it will make in helping services in driving forward safer buildings and the improved wellbeing of communities.
“Like all Fire Standards, these Standards 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, “The 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.
“Services should use the Protection Standard to help reduce risks in the built environment and keep our communities safe.”
The Fire Standards Board is an independently chaired body with members from the National Fire Chiefs Council, the Local Government Association, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and the Home Office. The board is funded by the Home Office to oversee the identification, organisation, development and maintenance of these professional standards for fire and rescue services in England.
The Fire and Rescue National Framework, to which all fire and rescue authorities must have regard, requires the implementation of Fire Standards. The intention being to help drive continual improvement across fire and rescue services alongside the re-introduction of inspection arrangements.
The mission for the new Fire Standards Board is to oversee the development and maintenance of a suite of professional Standards that set out ‘what good looks like’.
The Board and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) are collectively engaged in continuously improving the performance of fire and rescue services in England for the communities they serve.
Having professional Standards available will allow evidence to be gathered by bodies responsible for third party assurance, provided in England by HMICFRS.
The Fire Standards Board has previously published Fire Standards on: Emergency response driving; Operational preparedness; Operational competence; Operational learning; Code of Ethics; and Community Risk Management Planning.