Safer, Healthier Communities

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 emergencies 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. But prevention extends well beyond the home.

We provide fire safety education to thousands of schoolchildren and college students. And we have specialist prevention and partnership teams who support our firefighters in reducing anti-social behaviour such as arson, and 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 the risks faced by the most vulnerable people in our communities
  • 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, 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
  • the safety, health and well-being of the most vulnerable people in our communities will improve through our interventions delivered to tackle the effects of an increasing demand on health and social care services.

Safe and Well

We carry out over 30,000 Safe & Well visits every year of which…

Safe and well block

…48% originate from partner referrals and as a result of which we’ve…

Partner referrals 48%

…handed out 25,431 pieces of equipment like smoke alarms…

Hand out equipment

…which has resulted in a 10% reduction in fire deaths and serious injuries.

Reduction in fire deaths

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 100,000 safety messages were delivered to West Midlands families as a result of visits to Safeside. And the centres’ brilliant volunteers gave 2,808 hours of their own time to support our Junior Citizen Programme.

Meanwhile, our firefighters also deliver educational programmes. In 2017/18 they engaged with over 41,000 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

Road Safety

Although just over 600 people were killed or seriously injured on West Midlands roads in 2017…

30
...this was down nearly 30% from 2016

Our firefighters and Road Casualty Reduction Team engaged with more than 400,000 children and young people, delivering key road safety messages.

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

VR Goggles Road Safety

Arson

Fire investigation arson

We recorded 137 deliberate fires in derelict buildings in 2017/18 – the lowest figure ever.

Our Fire Investigation and Prevention Section (FIPS) were involved in 127 fire investigations and supported more than 50 criminal cases including a murder and 10 fire-related deaths.

Their detailed and painstaking work helped secure the convictions of eight arsonists, who were jailed for a total of 146 years.

Our fire investigation dog (and his handler!) used their detective skills across our region some 150 times.

137
Deliberate fires in derelict buildings
127
Fire investigations
146
Combined arson convictions in years
150
Fire dog and handler call outs