What are the challenges of the different incidents we attend?
Right place, right time, right skills to help prevent or respond to house fires
Accidental Dwelling Fires attended 01/04/2017 - 31/03/2022
All too often we see the catastrophic effects of accidental fires in the home.
Preventing fires from happening in the first place is key to keeping people safe which is why we have worked hard to bring down the number of fires and resulting deaths and injuries – and conducting safe and well checks to provide fire safety in the home advice and installing smoke alarms is integral to this work.
Most fires start accidentally – and the effects can be devastating. Over 40% of all fires in the home start in the kitchen and being distracted is the biggest human factor responsible – resulting in a smoke logged kitchen, damaged equipment or in the worst cases, serious injury or harm.
We campaign throughout the year to promote ways you can stay safe – you can follow our tips on cooking safely, e-cigarette safety, electrical safety, smoking safety and much more on our website.
Since 2013, all new and converted homes in Wales are fitted with a fire sprinkler system – which is like having a firefighter in your home and proven to save lives and prevent injuries.
Monitored alarm systems offer a valuable support system for elderly or vulnerable residents – and for all of us, working smoke alarms can give an early warning signal which can buy valuable time to get out, stay out and dial 999.
In 2022/23, for the first time since our records began, there were no deaths due to accidental fires in dwellings in North Wales.
However, we cannot be complacent and know we need to work harder still to maintain this level of safety.
Right place, right time, right skills to help prevent or respond to road traffic collisions
Road traffic collision locations 01/04/2017 - 31/03/2022
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service works in partnership with other organisations including other fire and rescue services in Wales to promote road safety and raise awareness of the main causes of fatal road traffic collisions.
The ‘Fatal Five’ message focuses on ‘Don’t drink and drive, Kill your speed, Don’t get careless, Belt up, and Switch off your mobile phone’.
Our work as a fire and rescue service does not just involve tackling house fires - we attend a high number of road traffic collisions and work tirelessly with partner agencies to help educate drivers about the potentially fatal consequences of speeding or not paying attention while driving.
This is particularly important for younger drivers - it is well documented that drivers aged 16-24 are disproportionately likely to be casualties in road traffic collisions. In Wales, this age group makes up 11 per cent of the population but 22 per cent of all casualties.
Working together to help raise awareness of the importance of road safety is part of our commitment to reducing road traffic incidents which can occur anywhere across our region.
Right place, right time, right skills to tackle wildfires
Wildfire Locations 01/04/2017 - 31/03/2022
Climate change has seen an increase in the demand to respond to wildfires in our region.
Every year in Wales, fire is responsible for damaging thousands of hectares of countryside, open space and wildlife habitats.
Wildfires tie up our resources which could be needed at another emergency – and due to the rural and rural-urban interface environments in which they tend to occur we’ve seen how wildfires put lives at risk, the lives of our communities as well as those of our firefighters.
In 2022 we saw a dramatic increase in the number and severity of wildfires attended in North Wales, rising from 4 in March and April 2021 to 20 in March and April 2022. The picture was similar across the whole of Wales.
That’s why working together to prevent these fires is more important than ever – and we work with a range of organisations, along with other fire and rescue services across Wales, to raise awareness of the damage that wildfires can cause to some of our most iconic upland landscapes.
We’re also working with local landowners and farmers – many of the upland wildfires we saw in March 2022 were as a result of land management techniques such as prescribed moor burning getting out of control.
The summer of 2022 also saw record-breaking high temperatures, such that wildfire is now officially recognised as a major UK hazard in the National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies, and in the UK Health Effects of Climate Change report 2023.
The impact of wildfires can be devastating – damaging land and property, harming our wildlife and our environment, releasing carbon dioxide and pollutants into the atmosphere and water courses, affecting local communities and businesses.
Extinguishing a wildfire is very difficult and costly, requiring specialist equipment as our firefighters often face working in dangerous and difficult conditions.
The costs following a wildfire including restoration, land lost to farmers and businesses and disruption to communities is immense.Through effective partnership working, we are focused on reducing the number of wildfires and the impact these have on our communities, landscape and wildlife.
Right place, right time, right skills to respond to flooding
Flooding incidents attended 01/04/2017 - 31/03/2022
Climate change has also seen an increase in the demand to respond to flooding incidents in North Wales.
Significant storms are becoming more frequent across the UK, requiring a multi-agency emergency response.
In January 2021, Storm Cristoph brought one of the wettest three-day periods on record across North Wales and North West England.
North Wales fire crews attended flooding incidents across the region as the storm Cristoph hit the UK, bringing with it significant rain and multiple severe flood warnings.
Our control room was busy with over 200 calls received at the height of the storm, with crews or officers attending 56 calls. Operational staff assisted at 48 properties and 28 casualties were rescued over two days of severe weather.
Officers worked closely with partners from other emergency services and local authorities in the planning and preparation for this widespread flooding.
The worst areas affected were Ruthin and Bangor-on-Dee where residents from the local community were evacuated from their homes, and rest centres were opened whilst flood warnings and flood alerts were in place across North Wales.
We want to continue helping the communities we serve to be safe whatever the weather – and the effects of climate change mean we need to be able to adapt to respond to the challenges our communities face.
Right place, right time, right skills to help to strengthen prevention and protection
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service focuses on prevention as the cornerstone of protecting our communities.
Preventing incidents from happening in the first place is better for everyone and we work hard to prevent fires and other incidents.
The number of primary fires – those that are potentially more serious fires that harm people or cause damage to property – have decreased significantly across the whole of Wales over the last ten years thanks to our focus on prevention, and have remained static over the last five years.
In 2022/23, our staff completed 18,052 safe and well checks to help prevent fires in the home, by encouraging smoke alarm ownership to provide an early warning in the event of a fire and by delivering essential fire safety advice to residents.
You can register for a free safe and well check by texting details to 07507303678, filling in the online enquiry form here or by calling 0800 169 1234 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Our role as a fire safety regulator is to work with people and businesses to help ensure they do everything to maintain public safety in the premises for which they have responsibility under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Where there is a threat to public safety in premises we can use our enforcement powers to reduce risk and bring improvements and in doing so will act proportionately.
Our business fire safety staff work across North Wales with people and businesses to provide advice, information and guidance to help them manage the fire risks in their premises.
You can access a PDF of the full consultation document in PDF here.