This publication and accompanying appendix data tables were released on Friday 29 November 2013 by the Department for Communities and Local Government. The publication focuses on personnel, health and safety and fire safety for the period 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013.
The key points are as follows:
Numbers of staff
At 31 March 2013, the total number of fire and rescue authority staff (full-time equivalents) was 47,337, 3% fewer than at 31 March 2012. There were 27,200 wholetime firefighter full-time equivalents (down 3% on 2012), and 11,300 retained firefighter units of 24 hour cover (down 3% on 2012).
There has been a gradual increase in the representation of women and minority ethnic staff in recent years. At 31 March 2013, 4.3% of firefighters were women compared with 1.7% in 2002. Minority ethnic staff accounted for 3.8% of firefighters compared with 1.5% in 2002.
Staff leaving fire and rescue authorities
During 2012 to 2013 there were 3,800 staff who left fire and rescue authorities. The most common reason for leaving was normal retirement (800).
Health and safety
There were 3,200 reported injuries to firefighters in 2012 to 2013. This is 48% fewer injuries than in 2001 to 2002.
740,000 home fire safety checks were carried out by fire and rescue services and their partners in 2012 to 2013, 4% fewer than in 2011 to 2012. There were 116,000 home fire safety checks to households with a disabled person in 2012 to 2013, down from 118,000 in 2011 to 2012. The number of home fire safety checks of households with an elderly person (over 65 years) was 274,000 in 2012 to 2013, slightly up on the 272,000 undertaken in 2011 to 2012.
Fire safety audits of buildings
Fire and rescue services carried out 75,500 audits of buildings in 2012 to 2013, 8% fewer than in 2011 to 2012.
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 2012 to 2013 was 61%, compared to 59% in 2011 to 2012.