HELPING to ensure deprived communities are kept safe is among the goals in a new action plan for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.
The integrated risk management plan 2018-22 has been adopted and assesses which areas are most likely to be affected by fires, how the service will prevent and protect them and how it plans to respond when fires and other emergencies occur.
The document states: “Parts of Arun and Worthing in particular are noted as having a lower life expectancy, higher health and disability deprivation and overall higher multiple deprivation.
“It is no surprise that the wards with the lowest life expectancy consistantly contain some of the higher critical fire risk grades in West Sussex.
“Deprivation is clearly linked to higher risk of fires. Being a single parent, never in paid work, living on your own and being deprived were the top factors associated with higher rates of fire in the home.”
Increasing numbers of older people, some with multiple long term conditions, were also factors in raising the risk of fires in domestic settings.
Gavin Watts, the service’s chief fire officer, said: “We are constantly looking to improve the service to ensure we provide the best possible outcomes for the people we serve.
“This plan sets out how we will work with the other blue light services and the county council to drive our continuous improvement.”
The action plan includes details about:
How the service will reduce risks through safe and well visits, school visits and other training; and
how it will protect the public with safer public spaces, fire safety inspections and enforcement.
Cllr Debbie Kennard, the county council’s cabinet member for safer, stronger communities, said she remained confident the fire and rescue service would continue to deliver a high class prevention, protection and response service.