Cleveland Fire Brigade among top in country for safety audits

Fire chiefs say they are among the top brigades nationwide for safety checks.

Thursday, 20th December 2018, 1:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th December 2018, 1:58 pm
Cleveland Fire Brigade among top in country for safety audits.
Cleveland Fire Brigade among top in country for safety audits.

Figures show Cleveland Fire Brigade is one of the top services in the country when it comes to fire safety audits.

Audits by Cleveland Fire Brigade have doubled in the last three years to just below 2,000, putting Cleveland in the top five fire rescue services. When they are broken down there are 110 audits per 1,000 premises – the highest in England.

Audits are undertaken in all premises where the Fire Safety Order applies and they cover such areas as means of escape in the event of a fire, staff training in emergency procedures and general fire precautions.

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Firefighters look for hazards such as blocked fire exits or faulty doors, and give notice to building owners if improvements are needed.

The figures come after the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services reported that audits across the country have fallen by 42% over the last seven years.

Ian Hayton, Chief Fire Officer, Cleveland Fire Brigade said: “We are proud of our record in fire safety and we put prevention as a top priority.

"These figures are testament to the hard work and diligence of our staff in ensuring businesses and other premises are safe and the risk of fire is low.

"It is also vitally important that in the event of a fire everyone can get out safely.

“I would like to pay tribute to the co-operation of all involved as we make Cleveland one of the safest places in the country to live and work.”

Figures show there were 922 fire safety audits in 2015/16 and they have risen to 1,862 in 2017/18.

It follows a report is released on the inspection of 14 fire services by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.

Cornwall, Surrey, Hertfordshire and Avon fire services were told their overall effectiveness requires improvement, with Cornwall judged as having "serious critical failings" in its fire and emergency response.

A total of 11 of the services were found to have some shortcomings in at least one area of effectiveness, with nine not reaching the required standard when it comes to protecting the public through fire regulation.

Warwickshire, Surrey, Lincolnshire, Isle of Wight, Isles of Scilly, Hampshire, Cornwall and Bedfordshire fire services all required improvement at public protection through fire regulation.

Avon was rated inadequate.

Hereford and Worcester were found to require improvement at preventing fires and other risks.

The report added: "We are concerned to find that eight out of 14 services require improvement and one is inadequate in the way they protect the public through the regulation of fire safety.

"The consequences of long-term under investment in this critical area are too often evident. Protection teams often are not given a sufficiently large share of the service's resource to do their work."

Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, and Lancashire were all rated good in all areas of effectiveness.

The report measured the 14 services in three areas: effectiveness, efficiency, and how well they look after their people.