Home Fire Safety Visits

Our prevention work is the first step in reducing the risk of having a fire in your home and we do this by offering members of the community a Home Fire Safety Visit (HFSV). These visits are free and include the fitting of smoke alarms and the giving of fire safety advice. We may also offer to refer you on to other agencies that might be able to support you.

The categories of the information that we collect, process, hold and share include:

  • The occupant’s contact details (name, address, telephone number, email address)
  • Personal information of the householder and family members (such as age group, lifestyle information)
  • Special categories of personal information (including ethnicity and relevant health information, such as the existence of a hearing loss, visual impairment, mobility issues, cognitive issues, and user of oxygen)
  • Information regarding the interventions we have carried out

Why we collect and use this information

The information we collect prior to the visit is needed to enable us to arrange the visit (e.g. your address).

The information we collect during the visit will be used;

  • To provide appropriate services to protect your safety or the safety of others
  • To record and evaluate outcomes of the activities the Fire Service has provided
  • For statistical purposes to analyse activity, identify any trends and provide anonymised statistics to the Home Office
  • Help you contact other services which may benefit you and improve your safety and wellbeing

The lawful basis on which we use this information

The information that is collected is used by us to provide the requested service and to meet our obligations under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. These obligations include promoting fire safety, reducing yours and others risk from fire, providing advice on actions to take in the event of a fire, safeguarding our community by improving yours and others’ safety, and providing support to improve your health and wellbeing.

We process this data under the lawful processing conditions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Article 6(1)(e) because processing is necessary for the performance of a public task. Special categories of data (which for safety prevention would be ethnicity and health data) are processed under GDPR Article 9(2)(g) for reasons of substantial public interest. The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) gives us with the power to collect ethnicity and health data under ‘Public interest’ when it is for the ‘equality and opportunity of treatment’ and details about a person’s health which may affect their ability to escape in the event of a fire, for ‘Statutory etc and government purposes’ to exercise our function as a Fire and Rescue Service (Schedule 1, Part 2 - DPA).

Collecting this information

All visits take place with the consent of the occupier. Prior to the visit, we will usually have your name and contact details which will have been given to us directly by you or via a referral, for example from a family member, carer or agency which may be working with you. We use these details to arrange a mutually convenient time for the visit.

The visit will be undertaken by either operational personnel or one of our Community Safety Team. During the visit we will ask fire safety related questions to help us assess risk and provide the necessary advice and support. We will make a record of your responses and keep a record of referrals made. Some of our partners also provide Fire Safety advice and/or smoke alarms on our behalf, if you consent to this, they will also pass this information back to us to store on our database.

Information is collected using a mobile device and then uploaded to our central database.

After a visit, we may send a survey to ask for your views on our service. If you choose to complete the questionnaire, all responses are anonymous. They are returned to an external organisation called Opinion Research Services, who are an independent research company who will process and analyse the responses, and provide us with a summary to help us improve our performance.

Storing this information

We keep this information within an internal database which is subject to strict security controls to ensure that access is limited to those who need to see it to carry out the visit, progress outcomes from the visit and administer and evaluate the service, where appropriate, including our safeguarding team.

An outcome of the visit could be that our Control room personnel and operational crews would benefit from having access to certain information to provide an effective response in the event of an emergency at your property. In such cases, relevant information will be passed on, such as a person being unable to escape the property without help, having oxygen stored or a key code.

We keep your information in line with our Service Retention Schedule, after which time it is securely destroyed.

Who we share this information with and why

We have a responsibility to promote social wellbeing. To do this we often work closely with other authorities. To ensure you receive the relevant services, we may need to share your personal and sensitive information (special category information) with other authorities and partners such as:

  • Community Organisations or Voluntary Services
  • Councils
  • Police and other emergency services
  • Health Service

We will make you aware if your information is intended to be passed on and provide the opportunity for you to say ‘no’, except when we are required by law to pass on the information.
Where it is not possible or practical to obtain your consent to share sensitive personal information, we will only share the information if we consider it necessary to protect your vital interests. Such interests are for the protection of life, reduction of crime and accidents, and for improving health.
We will remove as much detail as possible leaving only key elements to enable us and our partners to target resources to you.
Sharing information with our partners will only take place under strict data sharing protocols with tight security in terms of the transfer of information.

Who do we get information from?

We use information from partners and other organisations to help us to better target our Home Fire Safety Visits, such as data provided by the NHS (for further information, please refer to NHS Privacy Notice), Western Power Distribution (WPD privacy notice) and non-personal consumer data provided by Experian (Mosaic). We map this information and make it available to station personnel to help them target communities who would benefit from our services.

Safelincs provide an online Home Fire Safety Visit questionnaire which is available for all Fire & Rescue Services (FRS) to use, free of charge to both the Fire Service and its users (you). If you do meet the criteria for a fire safety visit in the home, your contact details (as provided by you at the end of the questionnaire) are then made available to us via Safelincs, so we can approach you to arrange the visit.

Our partners make referral requests to us to carry out a Home Fire Safety Visit (HFSV). We have Partnership Agreements in place with each of our recognised partners which set out the governance and lawful basis for sharing name and contact details. Our partners will ask for your consent to make a referral when they think you will benefit from a HFSV from us.

Home Oxygen Users

We receive names and addresses of individuals who have an oxygen cylinder in their home.  Each home oxygen user will sign an NHS consent form when they register for the service, this states that their data will be shared with their local Fire and Rescue Service to deliver a HFSV (this consent form is managed by the NHS, prescribing clinician). Air Liquide reiterate this when they install the oxygen and they provide the AF&RS Control Room with a list of all home oxygen users, which is updated on a monthly basis. This is shared with crews in the event that they are required to attend an incident at the property, for safety reasons.  Should the oxygen user wish to withdraw their consent, this may have implications on whether the oxygen supply can remain at the property.  Please refer to the Air Liquide Privacy Notice for further details