Evaluation of the Community Fire Safety Innovation Fund programme


 

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The UK Fire and Rescue Service has looked beyond its traditional fire suppression role to make a wider contribution to the safety and well being of the community and to the Government’s regeneration agenda.  People living in deprived areas suffer a disproportionately high level of fires.  To address this issue of inequalities, the Community Fire Service’s Innovation Fund Programme was established.  Funds have been allocated to those fire authorities with the highest levels of fire related deaths.

Principal investigators and researchers

West of England: Elizabeth Towner, Mariana Brussoni, Jane Powell
Child Accident Prevention Trust: Michael Hayes
Nottingham:  Denise Kendrick, Caroline Mulvaney
University College London:  Heather Ward, Sandy Robertson

Intervention

The projects evaluated were schemes funded in the Innovation Fund Programme in the targeted Fire Authorities.  The targeted authorities include 11 Fire Authorities in Tranche 1 (commencing in 2003/2004 and running for 3 years), seven Fire Authorities in Tranche 2 (commencing in 2004/2005 and running for 2 years) and eight Fire Authorities in Tranche 3 (commencing in 2005/2006 and running for one year).  The Fire Authority determined the way in which the money is spent.  The aims of the intervention were:
- To contribute to the reduction of fires and fire related casualties

- To reduce the level of inequalities in the incidence of fires and fire related casualties
 - To identify local community fire safety approaches that can be rolled out across England and Wales.

A survey of projects was conducted by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in the first two years of the Innovation Fund Programme, as Phase 1 of the evaluation.  This survey was used during the phases of the evaluation covered by this project.

The evaluation

The aim of the research project was to provide an evaluation of the Innovation Fund Programme, in its first two years as a whole.  (Tranche 1 and 2 were the subject of the evaluation). 

The objectives of the evaluation projects were:

1)      To conduct an evaluation of the Innovation Fund Programme concentrating on implementation and process issues

2)      To assess the impact of the Innovation Fund Programme on the number and type of fire incidents and to measure the additional impact of the funded projects on incidents

3)      To determine the impact of the Innovation Fund Programme on the level of inequality in the incidence of fire and fire-related casualties

4)      To determine the costs and benefits of different approaches and to compare different approaches adopted.

Papers associated with the study

Mulvaney C, Kendrick D, Towner E, Brussoni M, Hayes M, Powell J, Robertson S, Ward H. Fatal and non-fatal fire injuries in England 1995-2004: time trends and inequalities by age, sex and area deprivation.  J Public Health (Oxf). 2009 Mar;31(1):154-61. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdn103.