Executive Summary

This is the sixth edition of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s (LFRS) ‘Strategic Assessment of Risk’ (SAoR).

The assessment seeks to underpin our Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) by ensuring that risk management drives decision-making within LFRS.

Having firstly described the statutory responsibilities placed upon LFRS and the Combined Fire Authority (CFA) committee structure in section 1, the document then aims to detail across several areas of risk pertinent to the county of Lancashire.

The About Lancashire section explores ‘population and demographics, district make-up, deprivation and health’.  Information is provided on population density across the 14 districts that make up Lancashire, in addition to clarification on aspects of ethnicity, religion and work-day populations.  The chapter highlights the relevance of aspects of deprivation within Lancashire, not least the prevalence of fuel poverty across an ageing population profile; one which statistically looks to continue to increase significantly in age terms over the next fifteen years at least.  The combination of such factors poses risks to members of the communities we serve and hence it is incumbent upon us to be aware of their changing needs and the potential for increased risk in areas traditionally seen as low risk.

The next section, national and local risk concentrates on risk profiles raised as high risk by a national risk assessment and more locally by our local resilience forum (LRF).  The national risk assessment is a yearly process intended to identify, characterise, and compare all the major hazards and threats of national significance that may cause widespread impacts in the UK on a five-year horizon.  It involves a large multi-agency process that allows ranking risks based on the likelihood and impact of the “reasonable worst-case scenario”.  It provides a national picture of the risks we face and is designed to complement local risk assessments produced by the LRF.

The LRF considers the national issues alongside the local risk context, identifying the risks such as new issues or highlight situations where risk may be changing within the county.  Each identified risk is then analysed and given a rating according to how likely the risk is to lead to an emergency and their potential impact on safety and security, health, economy, environment, and society.  The LRF then evaluates the analysis and determines whether to include it in the community risk register, identifying where plans are needed, and arrangements required to deliver a multi-agency response.

Finally, we finish with a collation of our risk scores across our Response section which aims to illustrate via a risk matrix our most common responses and our highest risks within the fire sector.  This matrix is the product of our novel risk methodology, which has been designed to incorporate the frequency and trends of incident activity in Lancashire with consequences of the same activity.  The methodology classifies pump-attended activity into one of 32 incident types and ranks these incidents based on a calculated risk score.  Each incident type has a respective consequence score which is based on the average consequence score of seven categories determined by a panel of industry professionals.  This score is combined with a likelihood score calculated using the average incident frequency for the previous three years.  We apply a directional multiplier determined through statistical analysis of long-term incident data to this likelihood score to identify incident types which represent emerging or declining risk and impact their order in the overall risk ranking.

The methodology utilises the experience and knowledge of industry professionals with the robustness of data-driven statistical analysis to rank the majority of LFRS activity by the risk they pose and therefore establishes an appropriate position of response from the service in mitigating the impacts of these risks on communities in Lancashire.