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Fire Services

Volume 508: debated on Monday 22 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has provided guidance to fire and rescue authorities on the use of socio-demographic profiling to inform decisions on the provision of fire and rescue services. (308427)

A range of IRMP-related guidance has been issued to FRAs and is available on the Communities and Local Government website at:

The guidance, which is non-prescriptive, is designed to provide advice and assistance on IRMP and its associated processes, allowing local authorities and local communities to make appropriate decisions at the local level.

The Department has also provided each fire and rescue service with a suite of software called the fire service emergency cover (FSEC) toolkit. This toolkit allows each fire and rescue service to undertake a risk-based assessment of their area. FSEC is based upon a geographical information system, which takes account of a range of factors including socio-economic and geo-demographic data, and uses bespoke software to calculate the probable losses based on a particular set of response strategies in terms of lives lost and property costs. That then enables the FRA to determine its optimum prevention, protection and response strategies appropriate to its own area.

The Department has also recently published research on socio-demographics and fire risk, which can be found at: ceanalysis