Our prevention work focuses on reducing people’s vulnerability to the type of emergencies to which we respond.

Our firefighters carry out thousands of ‘Safe and Well’ visits every year, and our crews give advice on health and wellbeing where it will reduce the risk of a fire. This means vulnerable people are safer in their own homes and we can get them extra help if they need it.

Thanks to our strong relationship and collaborative partnerships with our colleagues in other sectors, we can identify and support people who are at higher risk from fires and other emergencies.

But our prevention work extends well beyond the home. We provide fire safety education in hundreds of schools and colleges and at our interactive ‘Safeside’ learning centres in Handsworth and Eastside, as well as at public events and through our popular Fire Cadets programme.

We also have specialist prevention and partnership teams who support our firefighters in reducing anti-social behaviour, including arson, and improving road safety.

If you would like to see what our work in your area, then please visit our interactive Community Safety Strategy.

Our prevention work is all about keeping our most vulnerable people safe and getting extra support for those who need it from our many partner organisations.

We think of it as ‘upstream firefighting’. The same firefighters who respond to 999 calls carry out thousands of ‘Safe and Well’ visits every year. They give advice on health and wellbeing where it will lessen the risk of a fire.

Thousands of schoolchildren and college students benefit from our fire safety education.

And we have specialist prevention and partnership teams who support our firefighters in reducing anti-social behaviour such as arson, and with improving road safety.

Our prevention priorities focus on making safer, healthier communities:

  • the number of people killed or seriously injured by fire-related incidents will reduce as we focus, with our partners, on reducing the risks faced by the most vulnerable people in our communities
  • the safety, health and well-being of the most vulnerable people in our communities will improve by targeting ‘radical prevention’ interventions that are directly linked to vulnerability from fire
  • arson-related incidents will fall, supporting safer and stronger communities, as a result of our partnership working
  • fewer people will be killed or seriously injured on West Midlands roads and we will keep our transport networks moving, as we work with the West Midlands Combined Authority and other organisations to develop and deliver interventions that support the West Midlands Regional Road Safety Strategy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQOd3BpWm4c&feature=youtu.be
A pyramid graphic with a silhoute of a family showing 37,510 safe and well visits in text above

In 2018/2019 we carried out more than 37,500 Safe and Well visits…

A graphic showing two ticked pieces of paper with 17,500 written underneath

… of which 17,500 originated from partner referrals, and as a result of which…

A graphic icon of a smoke alarm with 29,256 written across it

… we handed out 29,356 pieces of equipment like smoke alarms…

A red down arrow with 16% written on it

… which has contributed to a 16% reduction in fire deaths and serious injuries over 3 years.

Education

Every year, thousands of children and young people pass through the doors of our two Safeside centres at Eastside and Handsworth in Birmingham. They provide innovative, interactive and enjoyable environments, inspiring visitors to think and act safely.

Nearly 145,000 safety messages were delivered to West Midlands families as a result of visits to Safeside. And the centres’ brilliant volunteers gave 1668 hours of their own time to support our Junior Citizen Programme.

Meanwhile, our firefighters also deliver educational programmes. In 2018/19 they engaged with nearly 50,000 children, young people and adults.

To visit one of our centres:
Tel 0121 380 6429 (Eastside) or 0121 380 7566 (Handsworth)
e-mail safeside.eastside@wmfs.net, safeside.handsworth@wmfs.net

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GbGO4dhltw&feature=youtu.be

Although just over 900 people were killed or seriously injured on West Midlands roads in 2018...

… this was down by nearly 5% from 2017.

Our firefighters and Road Casualty Reduction Team engaged with more than 23,000 children and young people, delivering key road safety messages.

We know that some of the most vulnerable people on our roads are aged 17 to 25. We use virtual reality video to help young drivers and car passengers understand the consequences of choices they take at the wheel.

Every Choice Counts course by our Road Casualty Reduction Team at a school
Every Choice Counts course by our Road Casualty Reduction Team at a school
Every Choice Counts course by our Road Casualty Reduction Team at a school
VR Goggles Road Safety

Arson

We recorded 99 deliberate fires in derelict buildings in 2018/19 – our lowest recorded figure ever.

Our Fire Investigation and Prevention Section (FIPS) were involved in 123 fire investigations and supported more than 56 criminal cases and 15 fire-related deaths

Their detailed and painstaking work helped secure the convictions of several arsonists, who were jailed for a total of 165 years.

Our fire investigation dog (and his handler!) used their detective skills across our region some 37 times.

99
Deliberate fires in derelict buildings
123
Fire investigations
165
Combined arson convictions in years
37
Fire dog and handler call outs