An exploration of the basis of calculation of 'standards of fire cover' in member states of the European Union and the potential for a rational economic model

Dennett, Michael Frederick (2002) An exploration of the basis of calculation of 'standards of fire cover' in member states of the European Union and the potential for a rational economic model. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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This work has investigated the possibility of developing a model, capable of being used to harmonise standards of fire cover within the EU. The model had to take into account social, humanitarian, economic and environmental factors and the built environment in determining an appropriate emergency response by fire brigades to rescues, fires and contamination of land, air and watercourses. The resulting standards had to be socially acceptable and economically defensible.
After examining existing standards of fire cover and the means of determining those standards, all current research into standards of fire cover and related issues was reviewed. A study was also undertaken into fire science, the means of predicting frequency of fire and the means of limiting the incidence and size of fires.
Economics, as applied to local and national government and as applied to fire safety systems and fire services was explored.
From that initial research it was concluded that the fundamental concepts of fire cover had remained unchanged since the restructuring of fire brigades throughout Europe during the late 1940's and had no relevance to the modern built environment.
While some aspects of existing policies and some elements of current research were of value, this work has developed new concepts, including.
• Functional requirements for common fire and non-fire emergencies.
• Entry preparation time based on the criteria, "The time at which fire fighting shall commence."
• Limiting fire size in buildings to "As Small As Reasonably Practicable for a Set Duration" for property protection.
• Quantifying the term "As Small As Reasonably Practicable".
• Defining a Standard Predetermined Attendance (SPDA) for all incidents.
• Determining optimum attendance time limits dependent on the frequency of calls and the installed fire protection features in buildings.
• A method of calculating an economic base for determining critical call numbers.
• A means of establishing the optimum location of fire stations within a given area.
• The number of SPDA's required at each fire station related to total workload.
• The provision of assistance to areas that are outside maximum attendance times.
The economic model that has resulted, accurately includes all of the potential economic, social, and political variations as the basis of calculation of Standards of Fire Cover in individual Member States of the European Union. It is the contention of this thesis that it is possible to construct formulae, based on sound economic principals, which are capable of being applied to the different fiscal situation in different countries, thereby ensuring similar relative standards.

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