Political Editor Catherine Levin puzzles over whether fire prevention is being neglected and talks to NFCC prevention lead Neil Odin about whether the inspectorate is right to be concerned about it.
As reported in the last issue of FIRE magazine, Sir Thomas Winsor thinks that fire prevention is falling off the radar. Neil Odin, Chief of Hampshire and prevention lead for the National Fire Chiefs Council, has similar thoughts: “My concern is that if we’re not careful we will forget about the central tenets of our responsibilities.”
Speaking exclusively to FIRE, Neil said he meant there is an ever pressing need to balance the three core elements of what fire and rescue services do so that they all get the right level of attention and resources to manage the risk identified in the local community. If one is off kilter, then the whole thing is unstable.
Consistent Approach to Prevention
Neil has championed fire prevention for many years, but he recognises that there are many demands on Fire and Rescue Service time and resources and these change over time. Currently the demands are coming from fire protection as fire and rescue services continue to respond to the learning from the Grenfell Tower fire. “We need to remember where fires start; that people are more likely to die in their own homes. Responding to risks in the built environment is important but we know people die in their own homes for a multitude of reasons.”
When it comes to fire prevention, what he wants most of all is a consistent approach and he talks about what is being done to champion this across fire and rescue services.
Read the full article on our digital issue, page 27-29.