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Improving safety, saving lives

Historically, national frameworks of fire risk management have focused on protecting land, buildings and premises. This has influenced the location of fire stations, the equipment used by firefighters, and the infrastructure that supports them. In recent decades, fire services and governments realised that the pattern of risk to communities was not the same as the risk to buildings and premises; with fire risks continually increasing, it became clear that a more sensitive response was needed.

Having announced a review of the Fire and Rescue National Framework – which sets out the priorities and objectives for Fire and Rescue authorities across the country – Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service commissioned Nottingham Business School researchers Pete Murphy and Martin Jones to analyse their Risk Strategy and its inclusion in the Fire Cover Review with a renewed, pre-emptive focus on assessing and reducing all fire risks.

Our experts recommended a new approach, to ensure that:

1. The Framework is more people and community-centred and does not focus entirely on preserving property or assets.

2. Future legislation and guidance would be transparent, evidence-led, and based around robust, quality-assured, and regularly reviewed data.


Our evaluative research helped establish the revised approach to assessing fire risks in the UK - and transformed Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's emergency cover strategy. More countries followed suit, with new frameworks being developed in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most of Europe.

This work has been hugely influential for Fire and Rescue services across the public sector, and gained recognition at the Fire Magazine / GORE Research Excellence Awards. This research project was also submitted to the Business and Management Unit of Assessment in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, where 65% of the research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of quality.

Recent research

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Safety and Security of Citizens and Society

This project is drawn from the strategic research theme of Safety and Security of Citizens and Society.

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Centre for Economics, Policy and Public Management

The centre brings together research on economic and policy issues and public management across the whole public sector at international, national, regional and local scales.

Public Policy and Management

The Public Policy and Management team is interested in public management issues across the whole public sector at international, national, regional and local scales. It includes specialist research interests in central and local government, the healthcare sector, and the emergency services.

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