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Fire Standards Board launches Safeguarding Fire Standard

17 February 2022

INTRODUCED BY the Fire Standards Board, the Safeguarding Fire Standard aims to ensure that Fire and Rescue Services are doing all that they can to support safeguarding. The desired outcome is that Fire and Rescue Services work proactively to promote the safeguarding of those within their communities as well as employees and volunteers, thereby reducing the risk of abuse, harm and neglect.

The Safeguarding Fire Standard accompanies the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) Safeguarding Guidance for Children, Young People and Adults, as well as the Self-Assessment Toolkit.

Each of the nine Fire Standards available aims to help drive continuous improvement across England’s Fire and Rescue Services.

With development work led by Donna Bentley MBE, the NFCC’s strategic lead for safeguarding, the Safeguarding Fire Standard outlines what a Fire and Rescue Service must – and should – do to achieve its aims. The Safeguarding Fire Standard states that a Fire and Rescue Service must have a designated safeguarding lead and that it should work collaboratively with partners to share learning and experiences in order to contribute to the continual improvement of safeguarding in general.

Full details of what Fire and Rescue Services need to do to achieve the aims of the Safeguarding Fire Standard are detailed in the ‘How to Achieve’ section of the document.

Fire Standards Implementation Tool

A dedicated Fire Standards Implementation Tool has been implemented to support Fire and Rescue Services with the implementation of the Safeguarding Fire Standard. It’s designed to assist Fire and Rescue Services in assessing how well they meet the Safeguarding Fire Standard and will help them in building an Action Plan to fill in those areas where there are gaps.

In addition to the Fire Standards Implementation Tool, there’s also a corresponding NFCC Safeguarding Self-Assessment Toolkit. The Self-Assessment Toolkit can be used as a guide to enable Fire and Rescue Services to carry out a ‘snapshot’ review of their safeguarding practices. This should be completed in conjunction with the NFCC Safeguarding Guidance for Children, Young People and Adults at Risk.

Fire Standards Board chair Suzanne McCarthy explained: “The Board is delighted to launch the Safeguarding Fire Standard and recognises the contribution it will bring to Fire and Rescue Services, employees, volunteers and the communities they serve. Ensuring that Fire and Rescue Services are proactively promoting the safeguarding of others makes for a safer place in which to live and work. The Safeguarding Fire Standard is a welcome addition to those already published.”

Fire Minister Lord Greenhalgh added: “I’m delighted to see the launch of the Safeguarding Fire Standard which sets clear expectations on this important issue. Fire and Rescue Service staff play a vital part in protecting communities and it’s crucial that they use the tools at their disposal in order to do so.”

National Fire Framework

Whilst it’s not mandatory for Fire and Rescue Services to comply with the Fire Standards, the National Fire Framework makes it clear that they are expected to pay due regard to Fire Standards, as will representatives of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services during inspections.

The Fire Standards Board is confident that, in many cases, Fire and Rescue Services are already achieving the outcomes which are the foundation of each Fire Standard. Where they are not, it’s accepted that Fire and Rescue Services will need to implement any changes to enable them to achieve the standards in a way that fits with their strategic planning, improvement work and timetable.

View the Safeguarding Fire Standard animation