Standardisation of Serious and Fatal Fire Learning Reviews in Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service

  • Julia H. Smith

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science


Targeted preventative action by Fire and Rescue Services is an essential part of any strategy to reduce fire casualties. Analysis of recorded fire data assists the identification of trends, which is a valuable tool for ensuring the most appropriate and effective action can be taken. Learning lessons from individual serious and fatal fires is also very valuable, as well as collaboration and data sharing with partner agencies. One way of achieving this is via multi-agency reviews following serious and fatal fires.

A review of current practice with regards to these reviews in the UK Fire and Rescue Service was undertaken. Wide variations were observed within the existing policies, the procedure followed and the data gathered. Standardisation of reviews would enable more efficient data sharing, both with partner agencies and other Fire and Rescue Services, hence maximising the impact of the lessons learned.

Data on fire deaths that have occurred within the county of Derbyshire was gathered, in order to establish the scale of the issue. A detailed statistical analysis of these fire deaths over a six year period was performed, and trends discussed. Leading on from this, a procedure was designed for standardising serious and fatal fire reviews, taking into account good practices observed in other existing fire death review processes and also those used following drug and child deaths. To complete this procedure a set of forms were designed which allowed for data collection from the Fire and Rescue Service and relevant partner agencies.

The procedure and forms were trialled for a live pilot case. The experience gained from this trial allowed fine adjustments to be made, the result being a standard template that can be shared regionally, or ideally nationally, in order to promote maximum sharing of lessons learned in the wake of these tragic incidents.
Date of Award2016
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorNiamh Nic Daeid (Supervisor)

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