Community Fire Safety in MercysideDestructions that results from fire are some of severe and irreversible damages that bring painful losses to those who are affected (Frenct, & Joan, 2007, p. 293). Environments that are prone to fire risk are always studied and proper precautions developed to ensure the fires do not erupt or if it does the damages it cause is as minimal as possible. In Mercyside, there have been considerable efforts by Knowledge and information department to reduce the damages caused by fire between 2004 and 2007. However, these efforts have not fully eliminated the risks that fire has on the on these region.
The diverse means in which fire erupt, uniqueness in the way different fires ought to be handled and false alarms greatly delays the efforts by the fire stations to respond in time and using the appropriate methods. Secondary fires, false alarms, single house dwelling and other fires are the common incidents that the fire stations have to deal with every day. This essay seeks to evaluate how these incidents occur in Mercyside. Out of this evaluation, the essay intends to come up with recommendations that will accelerate reduction in occurrence of these incidents. Secondary fires have been the most common form of fires over the entire period of four years.
These are small fires that that erupt from neglected buildings and vehicle, bonfires, grassland fires, rubbish fires among others. Andrew, Ahmad, & Gurrib (2010, p. 71) observes that risks of eruption of these forms of fires are often not intention and therefore unpredictable. However, the damages caused by these fires are very severe since it may take time before they are realized.
This is the main reason that secondary fires contributed the highest proportion (39 %) of all the incidents that were reported to Merseside Fire and Rescue Service (MF& RS) in the period of four years. Over the same period however, there have been considerable efforts by the MF & RS to prevent occurrence of these fires. This is explained by the fact that the rate of reduction of the secondary fires over the four years period was the highest. The contributions made by Home Fire Safety Checks and Fire Service Emergency Cover can be attributed to this reduction.
According to chart 3 of the committee report, it is generally observed that there have been progressive increases in the number of home fire safety checks performed by MF & RS on the entire period of four years. It is observed that the increase in this number is proportional to the rate of reduction of the secondary fire incidents observed over the same period. It is also observed that over the same period, most secondary fires were reported in E1 and St Hellens and N3 Croxteth.
Home Fire Safety Checks were average in these areas which in a way contributed to high rise. Strengthening of the policies and mode of operations of Home Fire Safety Checks and Fire Service Emergency Cover units should be further strengthened in order to accelerate reduction of these incidents. Fire alarms are intended to prevent the occurrence of fire or accelerating the response time of the fire agencies to stop the fire before it causes severe damages. According to Whate (2009, p.
344), false alarms can cause severe damages to the entire operation of preventing and distinguishing fire. The wrong signal given by the false alarm can either indicate presence of fire when there is none or fail to give the signal when there is fire. Either of these two ways is going to trigger wrong actions to be taken of which the end result would be wastage of resources. When fire starts and the alarm do not indicate, the rescue team may not bother to distinguish the fire which would make the fire cause continue causing damages without control.
When the false alarm is given to indicate presence of fire while there is none, the Fire Service Emergency Cover unit would be made to put its entire team in operation. This would include transportation of necessary resources to distinguish fire to where the alarm is produced. Finding the alarm was false would definitely cause the team misguided and therefore discouraged. It is therefore very important that the kind of alarm that is given by the fire alarm be as accurate as possible. Unfortunately, the cases of false alarms comes second from secondary fires amounting to 30% of the total incidents responded.
This means there has been very high level of false response due to incorrect signals that were given by the false signals. Considering that this is quite a big number, it is possible that most rescue stations are likely to have a mixed up perception whenever they receive any signal. The efforts by to reduce occurrences of false signals have somehow contributed to the overall reduction of incidents reported over the period of four years.
During this period, incidents of false alarms reduced by 1578 as observed in chart three of the committee report. However, there was increase in number of false alarms between 2005 and 2007. This shows that the efforts to reduce false alarms over the period was either not consistent or the methods used never gave consistent results. The fact that most of the false alarm incidents occur and continuously increased in populated areas like St Johns Market, Cosmopitan Housing and Marybone is quite discouraging. Factors that contribute to the production of false alarms should be properly studied.
This is the only way to guarantee the design of these alarms take action at the appropriate time in the appropriate way. Fires in building and single house dwelling have a considerable big amount of contribution towards the incidents that have been handled by Mercyside rescue station. The risks associated with these form of fires are quite substantial. Buildings and dwelling places are places where people spends most of their times meaning that whenever fire erupt in these buildings then there is very high chances of the lives of the people being destroyed.
As a result appropriate efforts should be employed at all levels in Mercyside to ensure that fire in these places does not occur. C4 Low hill is the most highly affected in this case. In the period of four years, there are over 100 fires in Single Dwelling Houses. Moreover, this region recorded the highest number of 153 incidents of other building fires in the period of four years. It is further observed that most of the incidents of building and single house dwelling occur in populated areas mostly in towns such as OldSwan and Kirkdale.
High population leads to congestion of people in towns (Khrism & Ahmed (2009, p. 441). As a result, many of the buildings that people lives are small. Activities such as cooking which requires a large area are done in these congested buildings which risk the buildings to catching fire. This is evidently observed by the fact that most of the fires occur between 1800 and 2100 hours. This tallies with the time when most of the people have returned to their homes and are preparing the evening meals or doing house chores.
The efforts of introducing small fire units and Home Fire Safety Checks have really contributed to the reduction of these forms of fires over the four year period. Though there have been a very high rate of home checks in towns and urban areas, this effort have not fully optimized and coordinated to contain the situation. Introduction of small fire units contributes to elimination of these fires at the peak hours when majority of the residents are alert.
A way of reducing risk that are associated with fires erupting from buildings and single house dwelling should focus on training the people within those building on good practices that will avoid them risking their lives. The other group of fires consists of collections of fires erupting in unique situations that are too few to be classified independently. These may include fires that erupt in machinery, outdoor storage, caravans or even vehicles. The fact that these types of fires are diverse and unique makes it hard to have a proper control strategy of completely eliminating them.
Most of these form of fires comes from working environments therefore risking to destroy the machines or equipment that are used in the place of work or the safety of the persons working in those environment. In any working environment, safety of the people is always given the first priority and therefore in these situations adequate measures should be put in place to ensure that the working environment is always safe from these kinds of incidences (Getrude, Tally, & Mercy 2000, p.
651). There are adequate efforts that have been put to ensure that other fires have reduced consistently over the period of four years. However, the fraction that remains needs to be reduced further so as to guarantee safety in all the working conditions. In order to ensure that the incidents of fire observed are completely eliminated, then the following measures and strategy needs to be implementedEstablish training programs to the residence staying in Mercyside on how effectively they can prevent occurrence of fire. Secondary fires have been remained high throughout the four years.
If the residents are trained and advised properly on how well they should handle fire, then this would go a long way towards reducing the risks associated with these fires. Particularly in St Helens and Croxteth where the secondary fires remained dominant, training of the residents would go a long way towards reducing occurrences of fire incidents. Mobilization of the small fire units should be strengthened. It has been observed that over the period that these units have been in operational, there was significant reduction of fire incident.
Additional units would definitely give better results. Fire alarms should be periodically checked and maintained. The second largest group of group of incidences periodically recorded in Mercyside is false alarms. Judging by the high number of alarms that gave wrong signals then it means that the designs of these alarms is wrong. In this case, the design of the sensors should be redone and regularly checked to ensure that it gives the required results. Failure to do this would cause inappropriate and disorganized responses. It has been observed that during the sunny weather, there are high occurrences of fire.
It is therefore important that at these months all the units are made to be more alert and some additional resourced put in place to ensure that such incidences are properly handled. It is further observed that different incidences have a tendency of occurring at different times and months. For instance, it is observed that January is the peak time for the special services while fires are at their lowest. In this case, it would be appropriate to allocate more resources and staff to handle special services and less people to handle fires.
Then in October when the fires are peak and special services are at lowest it would be logical to allocate more resources to handle incidents of fire and less resources to handle incidents of special services. The Home Fire and Safety Checks should be done regularly and more widely. Overall, it is observed that areas that have had high number of checks had fewer incidents than those areas that had fewer checks. It is also important that the HFSC program be integrated with the training and maintenance programs.
This way the residents of Mercysides shall be aware of what they are required to do more effectively.