18 December 2012 by Graham Ellicott,

The week just gone has proven one of the most interesting in recent history for the fire world! And for me personally as the kitchen refit at Ellicott Towers is almost complete meaning that the nut roast can be loaded into the oven on Christmas Day… The turkey escaped because of the missing doors to the aforesaid kitchen. Either that or my vegetarian daughter aided its flight – well not flight rather its running away!

On a fire note, there have been a number of important announcements, namely:

I welcome the Ken Knight initiative but wonder how this fits in with the Government’s Localism initiative as I would have thought that under this the pinpointing of savings and improvements for English Fire and Rescue Services would have been down to individual fire authorities? That said I see the appointment of Sir Ken as a common sense approach to a tricky subject and I am pleased to see that DCLG can, in some cases, be flexible when it comes to Localism. Now that this has happened I can see that I’ll be banging on the door at Eland House to see what other areas this new found flexibility can be extended to!

The announcement of Capita as the preferred bidder comes as somewhat of a surprise to me as all the rumours that I’d heard had another company’s name in the frame. Can I have been misled? Are my sources reliable? Is Rudolph a reindeer? Will the escapee turkey survive in the wild??

As to the 2011-2012 GB Fire Statistics, they report that the number of fire related fatalities is still dropping. However it should be remembered that the number of fire deaths over the years has dropped in part because of legislation such as “The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988” and that the current Government seems to have set its face against any new legislation with regard to fire. This dogmatic approach must not be allowed to dictate where common sense should prevail. For example, the FIA urges the Government to reconsider the Adrian Sanders “Fire Safety (Protection of Tenants) Bill” which required the fitting of hard wired smoke alarms in rented accommodation on the change of a tenancy. This legislation failed as it was opposed by the Government and it is now time to reconsider it, especially as there have been further calls for it from the West Sussex Coroner Penelope Schofield.

As to the Turkey Liberation League their paltry (sic) comment was to be expected……………

Enjoy the nut roast and don’t drink too much over Christmas - plus a prosperous New Year to us all!