Fire and Rescue Services Statistics, Scotland 2011-12

Fire and Rescue Services Statistics, Scotland 2011-12

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 non-domestic fire safety). After the Scottish Government's Data Review for FRS statistics during 2009-10, a programme of data collection has been planned, this year we have been able to include information on Home Fire Safety Visits, stations and equipment. Further 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 - where a large change has occurred this will be highlighted as a footnote.

6.2.2 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.

6.3 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 non-domestic fire safety. 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. 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 Due to a small number of fire audits 1 % for Scotland not being able to be classified into risk levels, a statistical imputation was applied. The methodology is illustrated in the example below: In this case, there were 10 more audits reported in total than there are in the risk bands and so those 10 audits were distributed amongst the risk bands using a percentage distribution adjustment. The figures shown in the 'Shops reported' row are published in the relevant tables. All information was rounded to nearest whole audit.

Premises Number of Premises Audited Well Below Average
Below Average
Above Average
Well Above Average Total
Shops 110 30 30 40 0 0 100
Percentage distribution 30% 30% 40% 0% 0%
Shops - reported 110 33 33 44 0 0 110

6.3.5 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.

6.3.6 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

6.3.7 As explained in section 4.10, Lothian and Borders FRS have reclassified their Type A and Type B audits in 2011-12. This has 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 2010-11.

6.3.8. The age of FRS personnel was reported as of 31 March 2012.

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 reach 55 and over.

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. At the moment the Pension Bill 2011 is progressing and it 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 £5,600. 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.

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 fire safety audit form6 . 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.
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.

6.6 Others

6.6.1 The following symbols are used in the tables in this bulletin
- = nil
n/a = not available
* = disclosive
^ not official statistics


Email: Lindsay Bennison

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