Figure 2: Distribution of causes of secondary fires in the UK, in 2007. Source: Fire Statistics, 20078IntroductionA comparison of Merseyside station area fire incidences show that these reduced by 6,536 in the 2007/2008 period as compared to 2004/05 which is our baseline. Out of this, secondary fires occurred 1,995 times less than in the baseline period. The incidences were studied over four years and the results showed that the City Centre station, C2/C3 recorded 8,158 incidents, which was the highest for the area. This number could be attributed to the fact that 66.3% of the incidents reported were false alarms.
Single Dwelling House Fires were highest at C4 Low Hill, which recorded consistently over 100 house fires annually. Secondary fires recorded saw E1 St Helens and N3 Croxteth being constantly among the top three. The former recorded 3,994 secondary fires while the latter had 3,807. This was followed by E3 Huyton which had 3,182.This essay will attempt to assess the statistical information available for Merseyside in this four-year period and come up with a strategy in which the community’s safety can be upgraded in at-risk areas. Risk AssessmentIn order to assess societal risk, it is first necessary to characterize it.
Therefore, societal risk is defined as the measure of risk a group of people face. Mathematically, it is illustrated as the frequency distribution of multiple casualty events (F-N curve). Another way to express it is as that given the probability of 100 fatalities at place x, then y becomes the societal risk measure. In order to accurately estimate societal risk, it is necessary to describe the population which is at risk within the location, x.
This encompasses type of population, chances of human presence at the scene of the incident and extenuating factors (Renjith and Madhu, 2010). The Merseyside population is divided by station areas which are labelled as outlined in the figure below; Figure 1: Map of Station areas in MerseysideThere are several societal risks that exacerbate the possibility of fire in the community. Some of these risks are; From Chart 2 in the Merseyside report (2009) it can be seen that the largest percentage at 39.7% of fires reported were secondary fires stemming from bonfires, abandoned buildings, and rubbish fires.
This means that failure to guard against grass fires in warm weather can be a risk factor as occurred in the 2005/06 season which saw persistent warm weather. Others are the timber-frame that experts have called a huge fire risk (Walker, 2010). The incidences of fire were mapped according to station and the results were varied with some areas exhibiting higher risk factors than others. The city centre station consistently reports the greatest number of incidents while St. Helens and Croxeth are normally the locations where secondary fires are reported most.
This means either that the number of abandoned buildings at these sites is higher than at other places or rubbish and bonfires are frequently left untended. Other risks could be the predominant presence of dry grass, or extremely warm weather. Finally, there could be a higher number of open spaces that are conducive to burning activities. The heat of July and the windy conditions in October and November could account for the fact that they are peak incident months. St John’s Precinct remains a hotspot for false alarms while Low Hill has the highest number of single house dwelling fires.
On the other hand, the fewest incidents were consistently reported at the Formby station while Liverpool had the highest number of incidents of any station. These statistics have not changed over the four-year period under study. What this tells us is that there are persistent risk factors in those particular communities.