This publication and accompanying appendix data tables were released on Tuesday 25 September 2012 by the Department for Communities and Local Government. The publication focuses on personnel, health and safety and fire safety for the period 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012.
The key points are as follows:
Numbers of staff
At 31 March 2012, the total number of fire and rescue authority staff (full-time equivalents) was 48,900: 4% fewer than at 31 March 2011. There were 28,200 whole-time firefighter full-time equivalents (down 3% on 2011) and 11,700 retained firefighter units of 24-hour cover (down 4% on 2011).
There has been a gradual increase in the representation of women and minority ethnic staff in recent years. At 31 March 2012, 4.3% of firefighters were women compared with 1.7% in 2002. Minority ethnic staff accounted for 3.3% of firefighters compared with 1.5% in 2002.
Staff leaving fire and rescue authorities
During 2011 to 2012 there were 4,200 staff who left fire and rescue authorities. The most common reason for leaving was normal retirement (800).
Health and safety
There were 3,400 reported injuries to firefighters in 2011 to 2012. This is 45% fewer injuries than in 2001 to 2002.
770,000 home fire safety checks were carried out by fire and rescue services and their partners in 2011 to 2012, 7% fewer than in 2010 to 2011. There were 118,000 home fire safety checks to households with a disabled person in 2011 to 2012, up from 87,000 in 2010 to 2011.
The number of home fire safety checks of households with an elderly person (over 65 years) was 272,000 in 2011 to 2012, slightly lower than the 278,000 undertaken in 2010 to 2011.
Fire safety audits of buildings
Fire and rescue services carried out 82,000 audits of buildings in 2011 to 2012, 3% fewer than in 2010 to 2011.
Fire and rescue authorities are focusing their audit activities so that premises that are considered to represent the highest risks are more likely to be audited. The highest proportions of audits against number of known premises were care homes, hotels and hospitals.
The overall proportion of premises found to be satisfactory in 2011 to 2012 was 59%, compared to 56% in 2010 to 2011.