Fire and Rescue Service Statistics, Scotland 2012-13

Statistical bulletin providing statistics on Scotland Fire and Rescue Services workforce, stations, equipment, fire safety and attacks on Fire and Rescue Service personnel at incidents.

6. Notes on Statistics used in this bulletin

6.1 Background

6.1.1 This publication includes six topics (stations, equipment, workforce, attacks on FRS personnel, Home Fire Safety Visits and fire safety (non-domestic and licensed HMOs)). After the Scottish Government's Data Review for FRS statistics during 2009-10, a programme of data collection was identified to include these topics, details of this data collection programme can be found on the Scottish Government website: http:/

6.2 Revisions and Corrections

6.2.1 Revisions policy

Revisions may still be made and will be handled according to "Scottish Government's Corporate policy statement on revisions and corrections" with the following clarifications

i) Provisional data is taken from the Incident Recording System (IRS), this is subject to revision due to it being downloaded from an administrative database which is updated throughout the year. This data may be revised in subsequent publications. This only affects Tables 10 to 11a.

ii) Premises known to FRS will fluctuate every year with the opening and closing of non-domestic premises and the renewal of licensed HMOs- where a large change has occurred this will be highlighted as a footnote.

iii) Where FRSs have notified us of minor changes to previous information published the overall Scotland trend tables have been amended to reflect the change and caveat the change appropriately. This may cause slight discrepancies with the more detailed tables previously published.

6.2.2 Revision to RDS figures for 2009-10 and 2010-11

In order to facilitate this data exchange between Scottish Government and CIPFA statistics in 2011-12 there has been a change in methodology for workforce statistics. CIPFA collect information on employment contracts. It is possible for a staff member to have more than one contract (more than one post) within the FRS. The most common example is a wholetime operational staff member who also holds a contract to work part time as retained duty system (RDS) staff. Previously in this publication, Scottish Government would only have included the person once (as wholetime staff) to enable diversity and equality monitoring. They will now be counted twice. Following the change to the new counting method, revisions on the RDS figures for 2009-10 and 2010-11 have been made, which will maintain consistent historical data and comply with Principle 4 of the official code of practice.

To assess the effect of the change in counting method, CIPFA data for 2009-10 and 2010-11 was compared with Scottish Government data. Where the RDS figure reported in the previous Scottish Government publication was lower than the CIPFA figure by more than 4, the CIPFA data has now been used. This allows the data to be re-trended to reflect the dual contracts for the previous two years. This has increased overall RDS figures for 2009-10 by 2% (from 3,063 to 3,125) and 2010-11 by 1% (from 3,039 to 3,063). The other staffing categories were not affected.

6.2.3 Revision within wholetime operation and support staff

Previously in 2009-10 and 2010-11 publications whole time non-uniform staff at the pay equivalent of brigade manager, area manager and group manager were included within the count of wholetime operational staff, whereas in the CIPFA publication the same personnel were included as support staff. To align this data across the two collections in 2010-11, the information for non-uniform staff has been expanded to identify how the support staff role compares with Fire and Rescue Services (FRSs) roles. A 'role equivalent' has been used to do this. The term 'Support staff' covers all non-uniformed staff. The range of employment this area covers is very varied, for example it covers roles such as management, finance, Human Resources, IT, administration, catering, mechanics, etc. Capturing data on such a wide range of employment type is difficult and there are different role descriptions between the 8 FRSs. After consultation with FRS work groups on this subject it was felt that rather than reporting on support staff by their functions (what they do), a better solution was to report senior support staff as equivalent uniformed roles e.g. Brigade, Area or Group managers. This helps to provide a breakdown on the level of responsibility held within support staff. This can be supplied by all 8 FRS and is not dependent on type of employment.

6.2.4 During quality assurance of this publication, Central Scotland FRS realised that there was a mis-classification of wholetime operational crew managers and fire fighters. In 2010-11, crew managers were reported as 40 when it should have been 30 and firefighters were reported as 130 instead of 145. This has been updated in the historical data in Table 3.

6.2.5 During quality assurance of this publication, Central Scotland FRS realised that there had been a mis-classification of a member staff in wholetime operational. In 2011-12, wholetime staff were reported as 245 when it should have been 244 and support staff were reported as 45 instead of 46. This has been updated in the historical data in Table 3

6.2.6 In the 2011-12 publication, Table B had the incorrect risk shading for 3 categories: Other sleeping accommodation, Other premises open to the public and Licensed premises. This shading relating to relative risk has been corrected for this year's publication. An erratum has been issued for the 2011-12 publication on 15th August 2012 and the publication will be updated in due course :

6.3 Statistical Issues

6.3.1 The statistics in this bulletin are provided by each Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) in a data return to the Scottish Government Justice Analytical Services Division for workforce, Home Fire Safety Visits and fire safety (non-domestic and licensed HMOs). Data for stations and equipment has been supplied by each Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) in a data return to CIPFA (The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy). The Incident Recording System (IRS) provided the data for attacks on FRS personnel, which has been validated by Scotland's FRSs.

6.3.2 To aid with disclosure issues, age ranges of FRS staff are provided in larger bands than the overall Scotland information and are only provided as percentages. (Table 7b).

6.3.3. Ethnicity and disability statistics have been provided at a Scotland level only and as percentages (Table 8 and 9). To supply these as numbers at FRS level would be disclosive. Similarly the total number of FRS personnel injured in attacks has been disclosure controlled where appropriate and only reported nationally (Table 10, 10a and 10b).

6.3.4 In general, Type B audits can be expected to take more time than Type A (Table 15a and 15b) on some of the categories of premises this is not the case. When this was investigated further the small numbers of audits have contributed to making some of the average times for Type B audits much smaller than expected and in some cases smaller than the average Type A audit for that category of premises.

6.3.5 As explained in Fire and Rescue Service Statistics 2010-11, Strathclyde FRS's fire audit times have tripled from 2009-10 to 2010-11. This has increased the total number of audit hours (including enforcement and prohibition notices) from 2009-10 to 2010-11 by 69%. This has had the effect of increasing the national averages for Type A audits, percentage of Type A audits and average time spent on enforcement notices for 2010-11

6.3.6 As explained in Fire and Rescue Service Statistics 2011-12, Lothian and Borders FRS reclassified their Type A and Type B audits in 2011-12. This increased the total number of Type A audits - the change has contributed over 10 % to the national total of percentage of Type A audits in Table 14 for 2011-12.

6.3.7 As explained in section 3.1, definitions of Houses in Multiple Occupation were investigated at the beginning of 2013. In this year's publication HMOs have been reported using a new definition. These statistics are classified as experimental statistics with a view to making then official in future publications.

6.3.8. The age of FRS personnel was reported as of 31 March 2013.

6.3.9 The retirement age varies depending on occupation held within Scotland's FRS and this is important to understand when comparing staff aged over 50 years old. For FRS personnel who work in a fire fighting capacity i.e. wholetime operational and retained duty system staff, the retirement age depends on the pension scheme that a person was eligible to join. There are two main firefighters' pension schemes in operation which have different retirement ages. The normal age of retirement under the Firefighters' Pension Scheme 1992, is 55, however a firefighter can choose to retire earlier, if aged at least 50 with at least 25 years' service. Under the New Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2006, the normal retirement age is 60, however a firefighter can choose to retire before this age when they have reached 55.

Control staff and support staff are covered by UK legislation on retirement age. There have been a number of Pension Acts in the last decade that have pre-announced the year when the increase in the state pension age to more than 65 for both genders will occur. The Pension Bill 2011 will increase the state pension age for both males and females to 66 by 2018. The law has now been changed so that 65 is now regarded as a 'default' retirement age and workers can request to employers to stay on beyond this age.

For further information on FRS pension scheme:

6.3.10 The data in some tables may not summate to the total shown, due to the rounding of the data within subcategories.

6.4 Estimated Cost of Data Collection

6.4.1 The estimated cost to Fire and Rescue Services of supplying and validating the data for this bulletin was £4,100. Details of the calculation methodology are available on the Scottish Government Crime and Justice Statistics website at:

6.5 Glossary of terms


6.5.1 Wholetime operational staff - A person whose main employment is as a firefighter, regardless of the role. These staff tend to be referred to as uniformed operational staff within FRSs.

6.5.2 Retained duty system (RDS) staff - A person who is contracted by a FRS to be available at agreed periods of time for fire-fighting duties. This person may have alternative full-time/part-time employment outwith the FRS. Similarly, these staff tend to be referred to as uniformed operational staff within FRSs.

6.5.3 Control staff - A person who is employed to work in FRS control centres primarily to answer emergency calls and deal with mobilising, communication and related activities. These staff tend to be referred to as uniformed control staff within FRS.

6.5.4 Support staff - A person who works in a non-uniformed capacity, employed within supporting roles within the FRS. For the purposes of this data collection, this includes all posts that are not classified as uniformed.

6.5.5 Volunteer staff -A person who volunteers in a fire fighting capacity. A volunteer is not paid a retaining fee and they tend to be volunteers in small rural communities, where the number of incidents are low. For this publication, staff who are in community response units have been included under this category to aid with reporting.

Ethnicity Classifications

6.5.6 White - for this publication this includes the white ethnic groups of Scottish, English, Welsh, Northern Ireland, British, Irish, Gypsy/Traveller, Polish and Other White.

6.5.7 Ethnic Minority - for this publication this includes Pakistani, Pakistani Scottish, Pakistani British, Indian, Indian Scottish, Indian British, Bangladeshi, Bangladeshi Scottish, Bangladeshi British, Chinese, Chinese Scottish, Chinese British, Asian other, African, African Scottish, African British, Caribbean, Caribbean Scottish, Caribbean British, Black, Black Scottish, Black British, Black other, Mixed or multiple ethnic groups, Arab and any other ethnic group.

6.5.8 Ethnicity Not Stated - for this publication this includes when a person's ethnicity is unknown to the FRS or has been marked as 'Preferred not to say'.

Disability Classification

6.5.9 Disability - A person who has self notified the FRS that they are disabled as per the definition provided in the Equality Act 2010 (EA). The EA 2010 states that a person has a disability for the purposes of this Act if the person has a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long term effect on the person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Audit Types and Notices

6.5.10 Known Premises - this is the number of premises known to FRSs. This will change year to year as premises may be built, demolished, made vacant or change the activity they are used for. For consistency between FRSs, the Fire Services Emergency Cover Toolkit (FSEC) categories of these premises have been used for this publication (other than HMOs).

6.5.11 FSEC Relative Risk - The relative risk score is derived initially using the average fire frequency for the occupancy type. Then each premises score is modified using evidence based scoring techniques which are encoded in the FSEC system and also replicated in the CFOA (Chief Fire Officer Association) fire safety audit form4. The techniques include for example, event tree analysis which allows quantification of the effects of variables such as fire safety measures. The possible risk levels can vary from occupancy type to occupancy type due to the variation in frequency of societal life risk fire. In addition, the relative risk score can vary from building to building within the same occupancy type due to the circumstances within each building. A full description is included in the Integrated Risk Management Planning Guidance Note 4:

6.5.12 Type A Audit - this is a term used for this statistical collection, to help with the reporting of information. A Type A audit is a fire safety audit, the outcome of which is either:

  • broadly compliant;
  • notification of minor fire safety deficiencies; or
  • notification of fire safety deficiencies where no follow up is considered necessary

When a Type A audit is resolved, the audit is considered closed.

6.5.13 Type B Audit - this is a term used for this statistical collection, to help with the reporting of information. This is where the premises did not achieve compliance status after initial inspection by the FRS. These premises required follow up work by the FRS in order to resolve outstanding issues. Once the premises has achieved compliance status then the audit is considered closed.

6.5.14 Enforcement Notice - may be issued after a Type B audit. The FRS issues an enforcement notice which states what steps must be taken to make the premises compliant. This may include changes to the premises or fire safety procedures. There is a time factor involved with this notice.

6.5.15 Prohibition Notice - may be issued after a Type B audit, where the FRS believes that the use of the premises or an activity within the premises is considered as a serious fire risk and it needs to be prohibited. The time factor involved with this notice is dependent on the assessment of this risk, it normally comes into force immediately.

6.5.16 Alterations Notice - this notice can be issued by the FRS where it believes an alteration to the premises may compromise fire safety in future. This notice requires that the FRS be notified about any alteration to the premises. Alterations notices can be in place for a much longer period of time than other notices and fire safety audits can be performed on these premises in the meantime.

6.5.17 House in Multiple Occupation - The definition used for Houses in Multiple Occupation this year is from Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, part 5, this defined HMO as:

That a dwelling is an HMO if at least three people live there; and the people who live there belong to three or more families and they share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet. The owner of the property should have a licence from the local authority.

6.6 Others

6.6.1 The following symbols are used in the tables in this bulletin

- = nil

n/a = not available

* = disclosive


Email: Lindsay Bennison

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