Where applicable, we publish responses to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This one, , is detailed below.


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Freedom of Information

Published on 7 December 2020

Ref: FOI/20109


West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information requested on 25th November 2020

Please find below a summary of our findings.


I’m writing to request your help under the Freedom of Information act to identify the causes of fires in retail premises, as identified in incident reports or other records. I’m specifically interested in convenience stores and newsagents but I understand the way data is held is likely to make such a specific request an unfair burden on your resources as it could require manual searching and identification of premises types.

Specifically, I have concern that poor upkeep of commercial refrigerators in these premises may be a leading cause of incidents.

On this basis, please could I request the following:

  • The premises name, cause of fire and date of incident for all fires in retail premises occurring between 1 July 2019 and 1 July 2020.
  • Where the cause of fire is a refrigeration system, please could I receive the make and model number of the chiller, if recorded.


Please see attached.

In order to respect the privacy of individuals and ensure that we do not contravene the Data Protection Act 2018, As some of the data may be related to sole traders, partnerships or family businesses. This is permissible under Section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as this information may identify living individuals and therefore attracts an absolute exemption.”

If you have any queries about this freedom of information request, please contact us.  Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

For service complaints, issues or comments regarding this request please contact The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW

Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following link: https://ico.org.uk/ or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.

Please note: Due to a migration and ensuring the accessibility of our policies and documents where possible, not all documents referenced in our FOI's are available. If you require a copy of a document referenced in our FOI's which is not linked below or is in a format that is not accessible to you, please email contact@wmfs.net.