The Fire Sector Federation is developing a strategy to help predict the key evolving fire safety risks over the next 20 years and link them to action needed now to best mitigate future impacts.
Developed in partnership with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), the initiative is part of the Federation’s future planning workstream. It aims to set out a route map to provide the government and the fire sector with recommendations to minimise the impact of new and evolving risks likely to impact society by 2040.
The FSF and NFCC have already undertaken a number of workshops with members to kick start thinking and knowledge sharing to inform the strategy and ultimately protect communities.
Dennis Davis, Executive Officer at the Fire Sector Federation, said: “All too often our fire strategies are responses to major tragedies when the drive for change is set to avoid the likelihood of a repeat. Our initiative wants to avoid that way of learning by developing thinking and knowledge sharing to inform preventative preparations now.
“How people live, their health, wealth and wellbeing and the significance of the built environment, climate change technological development and societal shifts in economic and political influence, are all risk factors as we look ahead. UK population growth is predicted to be among the highest in Europe with an increasingly higher proportion of older people.
“The significant changes in society need foresight if those who seek to protect communities from critical risks are to be successful. This requires a sophisticated, integrated and informed community, one that is able to adapt, mitigate and manage fire and those other associated safety risks.”
Ben Brook, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Warwickshire Fire & Rescue Service represents the NFCC on the Foresight programme. He said: “We are seeing rapid change across society and our environment and it is vital that we understand and put in place mitigation plans now rather than waiting for new risks to become tragedies.
“One of the key drivers for success will be the ability to share data across the fire sector. There is a wealth of knowledge and expertise across the sector which can inform an effective strategy to mitigate future risk. Some of these sources of data include the State of Fire Report and its recommendations, the forthcoming White Paper on reform, the NFCC Fit for the Future document and the Spending Review. We have made good early progress in identifying areas of greatest risk and the strategy will have a crucial role in setting out the most effective course of action to mitigate those risks.”
The Fire Sector Federation aims to publish its strategy later this year and would like to hear from anyone in the sector who would like to contribute to its development.