Privacy and cookies

Please note in emergencies like the current Covid-19 pandemic, we will share information in the interests of public health as part of our community support role (Civil Contingencies Act 2004).


Avon Fire & Rescue Service is committed to complying with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA).  To ensure the accuracy and security of your personal information, we will:

  • only use the information we hold about you for the purpose you provided it;
  • only collect the minimum information necessary to fulfil that purpose; and
  • tell you what we will do with your information and who it will be shared with in the form of a Privacy Notice (as below). Although sometimes the law requires that we share your information with other agencies to help reduce crime or investigate fraud.

Personal information

By 'personal information' we mean data that is unique to you, such as a name, address, telephone number and even online identifiers (IP address). We will comply with the processing principles of the Data Protection legislation when handling your personal information.

Special Category (Sensitive) Personal Information

Certain information is categorised as special category personal data, including:

  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Political views
  • Membership of a trade union
  • Physical or mental health or condition
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religious or other beliefs of a similar nature
  • Biometric data (used for ID purposes)
  • Genetics

Please note that not all of the above will apply to AF&RS.

How we use your personal information varies depending on which service you use. For example whether you:

  • Use our website.
  • Are an employee, or former employee, agent or contractor working for Avon Fire & Rescue Service
  • Have used our fire and emergency service.
  • Have used our safety services either within business, community/home safety or youth services.

In order to explain how we collect and use personal data for the various activities that we undertake as a Fire & Rescue Service, or where we are required to comply with legislation, we have divided the this website area into various sections to include:

  • Our overarching Privacy Notice
  • More detailed Privacy Notices for the various services/activities that we carry out can be accessed using the menu to the left
  • General information for our website users
  • Website security and cookies
  • Data Sharing
  • Who to contact if you require further assistance

Please note that further information about Data Protection (including an individual’s information rights) at Avon Fire & Rescue Service is available on our Data Protection section.

Overarching Privacy Notice

We collect, process and hold personal information about you in order to provide public services associated with that of a Fire & Rescue Service and as an employer. This notice explains how we use and share your information. Information about you may be collected on paper, online, by telephone, email, by a member of our staff, or one of our partners, or images captured on CCTV.

We will continually review and update this Privacy Notice to reflect changes in our services and feedback from service users, as well as to comply with changes in the law. When such changes occur, we will revise the ‘last updated’ date above.

Identity and contact details of the Data Controller

Avon Fire Authority (operationally known as Avon Fire & Rescue Service) is registered as a ‘Data Controller’ with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and is responsible for controlling how your personal data is used. 

If you would like to discuss anything in this Privacy Notice, please contact the Data Protection Officer:

Address:    Avon Fire and Rescue Service
Police and Fire Headquarters
PO Box 37
Valley Road
BS20 8JJ



ICO registration

0117 926 2061 Extension 246 or 302



Why do we collect information about you?

We need to collect and hold information about you, in order to:

  • deliver public services
  • confirm your identity to provide some services
  • contact you by post, email or telephone
  • understand your needs to provide the services that you request
  • obtain your opinion about our services
  • update your customer record
  • help us to build up a picture of how we are performing at delivering services to you and what services the people in our Service area need
  • allow us to undertake statutory functions efficiently and effectively
  • make sure we meet our statutory obligations
  • deal with requests for information and other general enquiries
  • deal with complaints and compliments
  • manage the employment relationship and comply with Employment Law.

Processing information for safeguarding purposes

AF&RS are committed to protecting and supporting vulnerable people including children, young people and adults at risk of being abused or neglected. Our personnel frequently work with families and their children, in their homes, schools and communities and have a duty of care to take action to prevent the suffering of a child or vulnerable adult.
Government guidance makes it clear that safeguarding is a shared responsibility, and depends upon effective joint working between agencies and professionals that have different roles and expertise. AF&RS therefore work with other agencies to ensure that we escalate any safeguarding concerns and where appropriate, AF&RS will always seek the individual’s cooperation to participate in the safeguarding intervention.
The lawful basis that we may collect, share and process personal data for safeguarding concerns is when it is ‘necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest’ (as per GDPR 6 (1) (e)) as we have incidental powers under the Fire & Rescue Services Act, in that ‘we may take any action we consider appropriate in response to an event or situation that causes or is likely to cause one or more individuals to die, be injured or become ill (Part 11 (2) (a) FRS Act 2004’.   
The lawful processing basis for special category data (sensitive personal data, such as health data) would be when processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest (GPRP 9(2)(g)), which is supported by conditions within the DPA 2018 - Schedule 1, Part 2: 18 Safeguarding of children and of individuals at risk as also set out in our AF&RS Data Protection Policy.

How do we keep your information safe?

Our aim is not to be intrusive, and we won’t ask irrelevant or unnecessary questions.  The information you provide will be subject to rigorous physical, electronic and administrative security measures to make sure it can’t be seen, accessed or disclosed to anyone who shouldn’t see it and to protect against unlawful processing, accidental loss, destruction and damage both on line and off line.

We have a collection of policies and procedures, including Data Protection and Information Security policies which define our commitment and responsibilities to your privacy. We provide training to staff that handle personal information and treat it as a disciplinary matter if they misuse or do not look after your personal information properly. 

We will not keep your information longer than it is needed or where the law states how long this should be kept.  We will dispose of paper records or delete any electronic personal information in a secure way.

The information you provide to us will be held on a server in the United Kingdom and may be accessed by our staff, third parties (including our business partners), government bodies, law enforcement agencies and suppliers we engage to process data on our behalf or who act for us for the purpose set out in this statement.

Requesting access to your personal data and your rights

Under data protection legislation, you have a right to access your personal information.  Your personal information belongs to you and you have the right to:

  • be informed of how we will process it
  • request a copy of what we hold about you
  • ask to have it deleted (where we do not have a legal requirement or legitimate reason to retain it)
  • ask to have it rectified, or its processing restricted
  • object to us using it
  • withdraw your consent for us to process your personal data

Where possible, we will seek to comply with your request but we may be required to hold or process information to comply with law or one of our statutory duties.

To make a request for your own or your child’s personal information, or find out if you can act upon the rights listed above, you can contact the Data Protection Officer (contact details below) or visit the AF&RS webpages listed in the ‘Further Information’ section below or refer to the Individual Rights page of the website.


Avon Fire & Rescue Service do not capture or store any personal information about individuals who access our website, except where you voluntarily choose to give us your personal details via email, use an electronic form or enquire about any of our services. In these cases, the personal information that you give us will be used exclusively for providing you with the information you have requested in accordance with the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018.

By registering for any service on the website or by providing your information to us, you consent to the collection, use and transfer of your information under the terms of this statement.

We collect information automatically about your visit to the website for monitoring the use of our site and to improve its content. This does not include personal information.

We will not sell, share or rent any part of the information collected on the website (or if acquired by other means) to third parties, unless stated on the web page at the point of collecting information from you, or is required by law.

Use of third party data processors 

In order to operate our website effectively and receive your enquiries through the website’s forms we use a hosting service provided by any personal data that you include on our forms will pass through Siteground’s systems in order to reach us. You can read about how Siteground processes data on their Terms and Policies page.


We use cookies to ensure that the website works as it should and to record information about how visitors access it. We do not use cookies to identify individual visitors. We use Google Analytics to record how visitors use the website so that we can identify areas for improvement, and cookies are used in this process. You can find out more about how google uses your information by following the links in the table below.




More information

Session cookie

Essential cookies are there to ensure that the AF&RS website operates as it should. Session cookies are only stored for the duration of your visit to the website and allow certain functions to work correctly.


Google Analytics


These cookies are used to collect information about how our visitors use the AF&RS website. The information is used to monitor usage and identify areas where the website can be improved. The cookies provide us with information such as what time a visit occurred, if the visitor has viewed the website before, and how the visitor found the website.

Data Sharing

There are some situations where we are required by law to provide information and reports to a number of organisations. In these situations your consent is not necessary. These organisations include:

  • Central Government;
  • Auditors;
  • Bodies employed to process our data; and
  • Law Enforcement and crime agencies.

Where possible, this information is made anonymous to protect your privacy. The exceptions to this include:

  • Information provided to Law Enforcement and crime agencies relating to prevention and detection of crime.
  • Information which is necessary to prevent serious risk to individuals (safeguarding).
  • Provision of data to organisations that process data on our behalf, for example, our payroll provider.
  • Staff payroll data, which is provided to external bodies responsible for auditing and administering public funds. This is for preventing and detecting fraud.

Any information processing, including when there is a genuine requirement to share your personal data, we will ensure that such processing is done lawfully, taking into account your rights and expectations, that any data sharing is done securely and in line with Service policies and Data Protection legislation.


We will retain your information for a reasonable period or as long as the law requires in accordance with our Service Retention Schedule. The individual privacy notices will provide more information regarding the retention of different types of data.

If you have concerns

If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, we would prefer you contact to us initially so that we have the opportunity to see if we can put things right.  However, if you are unhappy with the way that we have processed your information or how we have responded to your request to exercise any of your rights in relation to your data, you can raise your concerns direct with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The Information Commissioner’s Office is an independent body set up to uphold information rights in the UK.  They can be contacted through their website: or their helpline on 0303 123 1113, or in writing to:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Further information

For more information about your rights:


Updated 31.03.2020