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A REPORT BY THE C.F.S. TASK FORCE

A task force set up by the Home Office to significantly reduce the number of fires and fire casualties in dwellings over the next 5 yrs. It reviewed causes of dwelling fires and reasons for casualties and.

•  Identified problems and areas for improvement.
•  Proposes a strategy to tackle the problems
•  Translate, Priorities and Timetable an Action Plan
•  Identify key indicators to evaluate.

They believe those general principles that drives organisations in the business world are the same needed to sell the fire safety message.

Principal Aim

Make CFS the primary focus of the F. Service putting fire and casualty reduction at the center.
To eliminate preventable fires
Key Indicator - Reduce dwelling fires by a third
Reduce accidental fire deaths by 40%
Reduce serious non-fatal casualties by 5% year on year
A measurable improvement of safety awareness attitudes and behaviour in each.

They proposed A National Community Fire Safety Center (NCFSC) to provide a framework for all CFS endeavors to establish best practice for all initiatives planning programmes and materials.

To improve targeted programmes for all relevant segments of the population Children Aged Social differences.

The Task Force believe the majority of fires in homes are preventable.
Most result in negligence or misuse of appliances and failed to take precautions to stop them starting.
The use of right messages given and acted upon they could be prevented altogether.

Example.

Smoking Main cause of fire deaths in 95
Chip pan Largest causes of injury
Misuse of equipment or appliances Biggest single cause of fires
Placing articles to close to heat source Mostly cooking appliances and heaters.
Need to highlight the hazards in such a way people hear and remember the message and act upon it accordingly.

 

Fire safety in the Work Place and Leisure industry, which covers Hotels, concert halls and places where public congregate for entertainment, even Sports (Hillsbourgh) is relatively successful. However, how long for? is another matter since most of Fire Safety legislation, inspections and checks have in the main been handed over to self regulation and local authorities such as Building Control.

 
 


Click here to enlarge

 


This is
a mobile Chip Pan display unit used to show how to treat a chip pan fire.

These units exist in many brigades and this is one developed by Mid and West Wales fire brigade.

This was very, very successful.

 
     
 


Click here to enlarge

 


This is
an example of the National CFS advert that appeared on Television.

The girl is an actual result of a person throwing water onto a chip pan.

Her courage is astounding.

 
       
 

A smaller version chip pan unit was given to each command, at that time Southern, Northern and West Commands. The main chip pan unit is still available on request, however it does not do the rounds as it was originally set up to do.

There should be a dedicated instructor, as was in the beginning, and it should do the original rounds which were... Schools, OAP organisations, Public spaces eg town centers, shopping car parks,

This regular tour would instill it in the minds of the present, and up and coming generations.

 


Having said that about the chip pan, I must also say that the idea of Community Fire Safety is an excellent one. As the years have moved on from Fire Prevention to Community Fire Safety, so have the ideas. The service has recently introduced Home Fire Safety Audits, as well as the other services outlined below.

1. Home Fire Safety Audit is where the fire service is invited into your homes by yourselves. They carry out an audit which entails checking your visual electrics, such as overloaded sockets, old or worn electric blankets, etc and will, subject to how much grant money is left, replace dangerous items free of charge.

Subject to your age and use of old type chip pans, they may replace it with a new Deep Fat Fryer or replace your electric blanket, again this is subject to grant monies left. Check out your local Fire Brigades web site for details.

2. There is also help to dissuade children from playing with matches under the FACE scheme (Fire Awareness Child Education).

3. Free Smoke Alarm/Detector installation.

4. Young Fire Fighters schemes at various fire stations.

All this is innovative and is constantly evolving. My main concern is that the baby is being thrown out with the bath water. There are some outstanding ideas which are set up, then are slowly forgotten about as they move onto other projects.

An outstanding project in Mid and West Wales was the GENUSIS project which brought onboard disaffected youths from the YOUTH OFFENDING TEAM into the brigade for a week, where they are subject to discipline, as would a firefighter during their training. They experienced what it was like to be trapped in a car while being cut out, and had a go of cutting someone out.

At the end of the week, especially when receiving their certificates, one could see that there would be a different youngster out there, who may even contribute to the community in the future. We knew they would think next time, before they committed anti-social behaviour. Some completely turned around.

I am told this project has now been abandoned and the credited Leading Firefighter returned to watch to ride the fire engine. David Kinge put an outstanding effort into his project. Constantly retraining and going to any courses or seminars that may advance the turnaround of these youths. The man is exceptionally trained and now it is all lost while he rides the engine. This type of project originated in NewCastle upon Tyne, called the PHOENIX project and has brought great achievements to their communities. Senior management need to seriously rethink this one and resurrect an outstanding project that does turn the disaffected youngsters around.

 

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