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Protection Strategy 2023-2026

Strategic Vision

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service’s (DFRS) vision is to ‘Make Derbyshire Safer Together.’ Our Plan 2023–26: Community Risk Management Plan (Our Plan) details how we will do this and recognises the importance of an effective protection strategy to support its delivery and ongoing work against our Service priorities (SPs).

For DFRS to achieve its vision of ‘Making Derbyshire Safer Together’ the protection team must fulfl the statutory duties of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005  (FSO) and section 6 of the Fire & Rescue Services Act 2004. Our protection vision is:

‘Making Derbyshire safer together to create a safer built environment, through effective education and enforcement, the professionalism of our inspectors and the development of our people.’

In order to deliver the protection vision, our protection teams have four main aims, which are to:

  • ensure fire safety in Derbyshire’s built environment;
  • support businesses in improving fre safety provision;
  • develop resources and use them effectively and effciently;
  • build resilience and professionalism in our team.

To achieve the protection vision, we will work collaboratively with a number of partners, including:

  • housing providers, both local authority and private sector
  • housing standards
  • building control
  • the Environment Agency
  • trading standards
  • environmental health
  • the Care Quality Commission
  • licensing teams
  • Derbyshire Constabulary
  • emergency planning
  • local authorities
  • primary authority scheme (PAS) partners.

The purpose of this collaborative work is to improve building standards, ensure understanding and compliance with legislation and to reduce the frequency and severity of incidents. Where compliance is not achieved, we will use the full range of our powers to enforce suitable fre safety standards; this may include prosecution under the FSO1.

How We Evaluate Risk in the Built Environment

We adopt a systematic approach to the stratification of risk in the built environment. This approach is interwoven into our risk-based inspection programme (RBIP), which was re- developed in 2021. Previous versions of the RBIP focused solely on the life risk within a building; however, the 2021 RBIP incorporated a broad range of factors into the assessment. This system provides a risk profile of the built environment for non-single private dwellings within Derbyshire.

See ‘considerations’ at the end of this document for a comprehensive list of legal provisions and guidance documentation referred to in writing this strategy

Our Vision - Making Derbyshire Safer Together

The Protection Strategy will reflect our vision, values, Service priorities and the Core Code of Ethics.

Service Priorities

  • Keeping our communities safe from fire and other emergencies

  • Having a well-equipped, trained, competent and safe workforce available for operational emergencies

  • Putting people first to maintain an outstanding culture of equality and inclusivity

  • Managing the Service and the challenges within the current and future financial constraints to deliver value for money

  • Continuous improvement through challenge and inspection

  • Meeting the data and digital challenge as it evolves

Our Core Values

  • Leadership: We listen, develop and champion our people
  • Respect: We value the opinions of our people
  • Integrity: Our actions will always be well intended
  • Openness: We won’t hide anything and will share our experiences and knowledge
  • Teamwork: We will achieve more together
  • Ambition: We will always do the best we can

How We Manage Risk in the Built Environment/ Non-single Private Dwellings

We have a number of tools available to us to manage risk and deliver our statutory protection functions. These can be divided into three areas:

1.        Scheduled and systematic activities

These are activities that are planned for. The RBIP identifies premises for audit using the risk based approach described. Site specific risk information – lite (SSRI lite) is a programmed, check and report activity undertaken by operational crews at the lower end of the risk spectrum.

While consultations are unscheduled, they are systematic activities. Consultation activities fulfil the Fire and Rescue Authority duty to consult on the appropriate provision of fre safety measures during the planning stage of new builds and structural alterations. This also includes voluntary consultations with partners.

2.        Event-led activities

These are activities that cannot be individually planned and result from the actions of others. This includes complaints of an alleged fre risk, post-fre audits and requests for advice.​​

3.        Targeted activities

This category includes the wider work carried out by the protection team. It includes campaigns to promote fre safety, engagement with partners and focused initiatives on particular risks.

Areas of Work

Theme/activity

What are the objectives/ commitments (‘we will’ statements in Our Plan) in our strategy?

How will we achieve this?

What does success look like and how will it be measured?

Audits (scheduled and event-led)

  • Keeping our communities safe from fire and other emergencies
  • Having a
    well-equipped, trained, competent and safe workforce available for 
    operational emergencies

We will aim to inspect, under the RBIP, 2,700 of our highest-risk non- domestic premises over the next three years.

We will continually review the effectiveness of the broad and inclusive datasets used in our RBIP for the identification and differentiation of at-risk premises.

By having an appropriately resourced and trained team of inspectors. This will be supported by our station manager cohort. PO2

  • By ensuring that the requirements of the National Fire Chief Council 
    competency framework for protection are met to give us assurance in our inspector cohort.

Success in this area will be seen as RBIP audits completed in line with premises risk rating.

This will be measured through key performance measures 2.5, 2.7 and 2.8 and will be reported on a

quarterly basis through the service delivery performance board.

Theme/activity

What are the objectives/ commitments (‘we will’ statements in Our Plan) in our strategy?

How will we achieve this?

What does success look like and how will it be measured?

Protection advice including, complaints, campaigns, building regulations consultations and licensing/licensed events

  • Keeping our communities safe from fire and other emergencies
  • Having a
    well-equipped, trained, competent and safe workforce available for 
    operational emergencies

We will continue to aim to respond to all fre safety complaints within 24 hours.

We will continue to develop campaigns to target emerging risks through audit and education.

Through having a full establishment of BSA’s, trained to Level 3 Certifcate in Fire Safety, which will enable us

to engage with businesses to promote good fre safety.

Through the use of business fre safety webinars, which will allow us to target large numbers of businesses/premises identified by the RBIP. PO1

By continuing to encourage early consultation from business control bodies to ensure new buildings or those being altered meet the requirements of the FSO.

Through the prioritisation of complaints regarding alleged fre safety issues and post-fre investigations, which are two audit triggers that result in high levels of enforcement.

Success in this area will be the provision of thematic fre safety campaigns and engagement with premises by business safety advisors (BSAs). This will be done face to face and through business fre safety webinars to target larger numbers of businesses/ premises.

In addition, there will be timely responses to building regulations consultations, which will be measured by Service Delivery Area protection managers.

key performance measure 2.5 and will be reported on a quarterly basis through the service delivery performance board.

Theme/activity

What are the objectives/ commitments (‘we will’ statements in Our Plan) in our strategy?

How will we achieve this?

What does success look like and how will it be measured?

Prosecutions

  • Keeping our communities safe from fire and other emergencies
  • Managing the Service and the challenges within the current and future financial constraints to deliver value for money

We will continue to review serious breaches with a view to prosecution when it is in the public interest.

Through the provision of a dedicated level A inspector who manages prosecution work. They work alongside the Service’s solicitor and engage with external solicitors when consideration is given to pursuing a prosecution and when managing a prosecution through to its outcome.

Success in this area will be the prosecution of serious breaches of fre safety regulations that place the public at greater risk.

Success will be measured by a continued high percentage of successful prosecutions.

SSRI lite

  • Keeping our communities safe from fire and other emergencies
  • Having a
    well-equipped, trained, competent and safe workforce available for 
    operational emergencies
  • Putting people first to maintain an outstanding culture of equality and inclusivity

  • Managing the Service and the challenges within the current and future financial constraints to deliver value for money

We will continue to train our crews and managers so they know what they are looking for when engaging with our communities.

We will continue to review the current process for conducting SSRI lite visits.

By ensuring that all new recruits receive fre safety input as part of their initial training course.

By ensuring that on-call staff receive fre safety input as part of their Firefighter development programme.

By ensuring that all supervisory managers have or will undertake the Level 3 Certificate in Fire Safety.

By providing continual professional development for those with this qualification.

PO2

By consulting stakeholders, completing gap analysis and identifying, formulating and implementing changes.

Success in the area will be the continuation of operational crews undertaking SSRI lite visits. These will provide light touch (check and report) fire safety checks while also reviewing operational risk information.

SSRI lite visits will be conducted at the right premises (those with the highest Firefighter risk). They will gather and share the correct information and review it to enhance the safety of our people and the community

This will be measured through key performance measure 2.9 and will be reported on a quarterly basis through the service delivery performance board.

Theme/activity

What does success look like and how will it be measured?

What are the objectives/ commitments (‘we will’ statements in Our Plan) in our strategy?

How will we achieve this?

Inspector competence, authorisation and quality assurance, including the protection pathway

  • Having a well-equipped, trained, competent and safe workforce available for  operational emergencies
  • Putting people first to maintain an outstanding culture of equality and inclusivity

Success in this area will be that the protection policy team will administer and undertake the quality assurance process for all Fire safety Inspecting Officers

This will be measured by having a qualified Quality Assurance officer within the Protection Policy team who will undertake quality assurance audits of all Fire Safety Inspecting Officers.

We will continue to train our crews

and managers so they know what they are looking for when engaging with our communities.

We will ensure that the robust quality assurance process is adhered to.

By continuing to manage the protection pathway and ensuring that the quality assurance programme is followed. 

By holding quarterly protection managers’ meetings to ensure consistency of standards across the three service delivery areas.

Primary authority scheme

  • Managing the Service and the challenges within the current and future financial constraints to deliver value for money

Success in the area will be the continued engagement with our PAS partners across differing business types.

Success will be measured through an increase in the number of partners following a review of our PAS provision.

We will continue to work closely with a range of partners to identify trends and implement targeted campaigns.

By reviewing the PAS function with a view to increasing the provision for partners and ensuring the scheme works on a true cost recovery basis.

Theme/activity

What does success look like and how will it be measured?

What are the objectives/ commitments (‘we will’ statements in Our Plan) in our strategy?

How will we achieve this?

Legislative changes

  • Putting people first to maintain an outstanding culture of equality and inclusivity
  • Continuous improvement through 
    challenge and inspection

Success in this area will be compliance with new legislative duties imposed by The Fire Safety Act 2021, which has amended the FSO,

and the Building Safety Act and the Fire Safety (England) Regulations  2022 regarding tall residential
multi-occupancy buildings.

Success will be measured through the efficient and effective education and regulation of the new legislative duties, providing DFRS with accurate and suitable information which supports the safe resolution of incidents and enhances the protection of our community from fire.

  • We will make sure that any service-level recommendations arising from legislation and national reports are enacted as quickly as possible. This will include additional training for our people to ensure they can enforce effectively against such changes.
  • We will make use of digital technology to improve engagement with responsible persons to deliver fire safety advice and explain their legislative duties.

Through engagement with partners at meetings such as the housing providers’ meeting, chaired by DFRS.

Through the training of our inspectors to ensure understanding and application of new legislation.

Through work carried out with operational assurance and response policy departments to ensure that operational staff have access to and understanding of building plans.

Considerations: