Our prevention work aims to reduce people’s vulnerability to the type of emergencies to which we respond.

Our firefighters carry out thousands of ‘Safe and Well’ visits every year, with a focus on helping our more vulnerable residents to be safer at home.

They give advice on subjects including health and wellbeing where it will reduce the risk of a fire, and can get them extra help if they need it.

Our strong partnerships with colleagues and organisations in other sectors help us to identify and support people who are at higher risk from fires and other emergencies.

We give practical help to smokers and to people living with dementia. We help others to overcome loneliness and social isolation. And, if it’s appropriate, we can advise on how to avoid having a fall, so people can leave their homes safely in an emergency.

But our prevention work extends well beyond the home. We provide fire safety education in hundreds of schools and colleges and at our two interactive ‘Safeside’ learning centres in Birmingham, 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.

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We carried out over 18,000 Safe & Well visits in 2020/21, of which 8,654 originated from partner referrals.

We have handed out 15,485 pieces of equipment such as smoke alarms, hearing impaired alarms, mailbox protectors and fire retardant bedding, which has contributed to a further 1% reduction in the number of accidental dwelling fires ever recorded in a year.  We have also seen a 28% decrease in injuries from these fires.

Our prevention priorities:

  • we will work with our partners to reduce fire related risks faced by the most vulnerableinour communities
  • we will improve the safety, health and well-being of the most vulnerable people in our communities, through targeted prevention activities directly linked to vulnerability from fire
  • we will educate to prevent arson related incidents, supporting safer and stronger  communities through our partnership working
  • we will reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads through education and prevention, working with strategic partners
  • we will work in partnership to support and protect the most vulnerable in our communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. 
A pyramid graphic with a silhoute of a family showing 37,510 safe and well visits in text above

In 2020/2021 we carried out over 18,000 Safe and Well visits…

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

… of which 8,654 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 15,485 pieces of equipment like smoke alarms…

A red down arrow with 28% written on it

… which contributed to a 28% decrease in injuries and 1% reduction in number of accidental dwelling fires.


Our education team have been busy during the time of national lockdown to develop new digital approaches and online resources for maintaining our engagement and programme delivery for schools and organisations, utilising the National Fire Chiefs Council national platform ‘Stay Wise’ as well as home learning resources.

Three new programmes have been developed using new technology, which we will be able to offer once bookings recommence after the Easter break 2021.

Smart Live is a new live streaming programme that has been developed for our primary schools and is a live stream programme from our Safeside village offering a range of safety messages about road, outdoor, fire, and personal safety.

The delivery of our programmes, led by our firefighters into schools, will commence in the autumn term 2021 and we are looking forward to engaging with our schools and partner organisations.

A photo of our safeside village
Logo for our Safeside brand

Although 938 people were killed or seriously injured on West Midlands roads in 2020/21…

…this was down nearly 13.3% from 2017/18.

Our firefighters and Road Casualty Reduction Team engaged digitally with 3,599 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.

Firefighter teaching road safety to some children
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
Students experience a virtual reality road safety experience


We attended 88 derelict buildings fires in 2020/21.

Our Fire Investigation and Prevention Section (FIPS) were involved in 162 fire investigations, and inquiries into 27 fire related deaths because of accidents, unlawful killings and suicides. Their detailed and painstaking work assisted West Midlands Police in 59 arson fires, helping to secure successful convictions in a number of cases.

Our fire investigation dog (and his handler!) were deployed to incidents across our region 23 times.

Deliberate fires in derelict buildings
Fire investigations
arson fires where we assisted West Midlands Police
Fire dog and handler call outs