Fire safety

An overview of government policy and initiatives relating to fire safety.

Fire Futures review

The Fire Futures strategic review of the fire sector was published in January 2011. The review aimed to show how the fire sector could work to reflect the government’s agenda of localism, decentralisation, transparency, accountability and the big society.

Fire Kills campaign

The national Fire Kills campaign includes fire safety education and community outreach.The campaign is supported by local fire prevention initiatives carried out by community fire safety teams. Most offer home fire risk checks and fit smoke alarms. Local fire and rescue services are also involved in road safety activities and have strategies for youth engagement.

Public Health Outcomes Framework

The vision for the Public Health Outcomes Framework is to improve and protect the nation’s health and wellbeing, and to improve the health of the poorest fastest. The second of the two outcomes in the framework is reduced differences in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy between communities, through greater improvements in more disadvantaged communities. Given the link between childhood fire deaths from fires to children and deprivation, this a key outcome for the prevention of fire-related deaths.

The Public Health Outcomes Framework notes that injuries disproportionately affect children from lower socio-economic groups. It includes an all ages indicator for mortality from causes considered to be preventable.


The Public Health Outcomes Framework draws heavily on Fair Society, Healthy Lives: The Marmot Review of Health Inequalities in England post 2010. The Marmot Review proposes six policy objectives. The first policy objective is: “Give every child the best start in life”. The Review notes: “Giving every child the best start in life is crucial to reducing health inequalities across the life course”. This is important, given the over-representation of under fives in fire deaths and the links with disadvantage.

NICE guidance

The NICE public health guidance on preventing unintentional injuries among under-15s in the home contains recommendations for local authorities on the installation and maintenance of permanent safety equipment in social and rented dwellings. The safety equipment includes battery-operated smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

Fire and Rescue Services Act

The Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 includes a provision that local fire and rescue services have a duty to promote fire prevention in their area. The Act also ensures that fire and rescue services have a duty to work in partnership with other agencies to ensure that prevention programmes are delivered effectively. The guidance on the Act specifically mentions the delivery of fire safety education.

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Updated July 2013