Can the number of fire-related incidents in sheltered accommodation be attributed to the existence of a safety culture?
Thesis or dissertation
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Research into fire-related incidents is based purely on figures and information obtained from the fire service involved. This is usually in the form of statistics based on demographics and not personalities or attributes of the people involved. This research set out to discover if the number of fire-related incidents in sheltered accommodation can be attributed to the existence of a safety culture. In other words, is there a relationship between people’s behaviour and attitude towards health and fire safety and the likelihood of them being exposed to a fire-related incident. Managers and residents of sheltered accommodation blocks (known as schemes) were asked to complete a safety culture questionnaire in order to establish if a safety culture can exist in a domestic environment. The data collected was then compared to the number of fire-related incidents that each scheme experienced over a given period. For the purpose of simplicity, this research uses the term ‘fire-related incident’ to encompass all incidents that involve the activation of the building automatic fire alarm.
Fire incident data from a selection of sheltered schemes was analysed and compared to the safety culture data to identify any trend. An attitudinal survey in the form of a multiple-choice questionnaire was used to ask the both the managers and their residents questions.
Analysis of each scheme's incident recording database confirmed that nearly all fire-related incidents were as a result of residents cooking in their own flats. This research concludes that a different approach may be required to establish if there is a relationship between the number of fire-related incidents and a safety culture, but significantly the research does indicate that there are safety related cultures in sheltered accommodation blocks. The research also indicates that the main reason for fire-related incidents is due to cooking and recommends further research into identifying underlying root causes, therefore possibly reducing the amount of fires that start in residents’ own kitchens.
- School of Mathematics and Physical Sciences, The University of Hull
- Pace, Stephen; Waterhouse, Peter, Prof.
- Qualification level
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