Response times to fires attended by FRS: England, April ’16 – March ’17

The Home Office has this week published the latest statistics on fire incident response times between April 2016 and March 2017, focussing on trends in average (mean) response times in England. The results show:

  • Overall, response times to fires have increased gradually over the past 20 years. However, between 2015/16 and 2016/17, response times to all types of fires either decreased or remained the same, with the exception of ‘other building’ fires.
  • The average response time to primary fires (more serious fires that harm people or cause damage to property) in England in 2016/17 was 8 minutes and 44 seconds: a decrease of 3 seconds since 2015/16 but an increase of 33 seconds since 2011/12.
  • Two types of primary fires showed a decrease in average response times in 2016/17 (road vehicle fires by 11 seconds and ‘other outdoor’ fires by 18 seconds), dwelling fires were unchanged and ‘other building’ fires increased by 1 second compared with 2015/16.
  • Average response time to secondary fires in 2016/17 (which can broadly be thought of as smaller outdoor fires, not involving people or property) decreased by 5 seconds to 9 minutes 8 seconds compared with 2015/16 but increased by 32 seconds compared with 2011/12.
  • Fire and rescue authorities (FRAs) in predominantly urban areas had an average response time of 7 minutes 43 seconds in 2016/17: a decrease of 2 seconds compared with 2015/16 but an increase of 27 seconds since 2011/12.
  • Average response times in predominantly rural areas was 10 minutes 37 seconds: a decrease of 8 seconds since 2015/16 but an increase of 31 seconds since 2011/12.
  • Response times in significantly rural FRAs was 9 minutes and 50 seconds in 2016/17: an increase of 5 seconds and 56 seconds since 2015/16 and 2011/12, respectively.
  • The average response time to dwelling fires involving casualties and/or rescues in England in 2016/17 was 7 minutes 40 seconds. This was an increase of 6 seconds compared with 2015/16 and 39 seconds since 2011/12.

The table below provides a summary of the trends in the last year for response times to fires.


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