Bill leads way for modernisation: the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State responsible for fire outlines how the recently published Fire and Rescue Services Bill will contribute to community safety.(Comment)

The Fire and Rescue Service is widely renowned for its skill and professionalism in dealing with fires. Today's Service, however, plays many other roles in addition to this core function, but this work is not reflected in the last major piece of fire legislation, which was passed in 1947. Last year's White Paper, Our Fire and Rescue Service, set out the Government's vision for a modern Fire and Rescue Service focused on a risk-based, preventative approach that helps save more lives. The Fire and Rescue Services Bill gives fire prevention top priority and provides the statutory footing on which to build a new Service.

We are all tragically aware that, no matter how good the response time of firefighters, too often people will die before help arrives. The Bill will therefore make it a duty for each fire and rescue authority to promote fire safety. Prevention works. Approximately 76 per cent of homes now have smoke alarms and many lives are saved as a result. …

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