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.
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