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East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo

Community Profilling

Community profiling is not a new concept for us. In fact, the way in which we have profiled the communities of East Sussex and the City of Brighton & Hove has progressed significantly over the last few years.

A decade or so ago, risk was primarily associated with buildings rather than life risk in the community. The risk was clumped together to form very simplistic, prescriptive 'standards of fire cover'.

More recently, we have sought further ways to enhance its identification of risk within the community in order to pinpoint risk right down to household level.

We have invested in Mosaic Public Sector which provides a comprehensive and detailed understanding of local communities, both in terms of their socio-demographic make-up, but also their lifestyles and behaviours.

This detailed intelligence has been cross-matched with historical dwelling fires to answer questions such as which types of people have the most fires, which types have a greater likelihood of having a fire, where do these types of people live and how can we communicate fire safety messages to them effectively.

We have also created a community profiling tool - 'The Cube' - which collates risk information from a number of different sources and uses it to identify the most vulnerable members across our communities. It essentially prioritises and ranks households in a risk-based and evidenced way.

  • The Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD): There is a close correlation between how deprived an area is and the number of fires in that area (both dwelling fires and deliberate fires).
  • Fire Service Emergency Cover Toolkit (FSEC) predictions: The historical high and low risk areas defined by a specialised risk assessment toolkit
  • Rurality: There is a strong relationship between the likelihood of someone dying in a house fire and the length of time it takes for the fire service to arrive. The Cube holds information on whether each household can be reached within the Fire Authority's attendance standards to life-threatening incidents.
  • Previous Home Safety Visits: Research undertaken by the University of Brighton shows that if a household has previously had a Home Safety Visit, they would benefit from a revisit after 3 years in order to reinforce fire safety messages - either because the message has been forgotten or new tenants have moved into the property etc.
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