His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service Inspection Cause of Concern Actions 2023

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) underwent an inspection by His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) in Spring 2023. The 2023-2025 SFRS inspection report received from HMICFRS highlighted areas of good performance, areas for improvement and one cause of concern.

The cause of concern was in relation to our Risk-Based Inspection Programme (RBIP), which inspectors felt did not fully prioritise the highest risks. The report stated:

"SFRS was unable to guarantee that its RBIP effectively prioritises the highest-risk premises and incorporates suitable activities to mitigate the identified risks".

As a result, HMICFRS made some recommendations to help us address the concerns raised:

"SFRS should review its fire safety work, the risk-based inspection program, to ensure it accurately identifies the highest-risk premises and aligns with its set targets".


"SFRS should ensure that all its staff are well-informed about their roles and responsibilities in managing the risk-based inspection program".

We have carried out a thorough review and developed an Action Plan to address the findings and recommendations from the HMICFRS:

  • Our previous RBIP used a detailed planning model to group buildings into categories. We reviewed the data and developed a new RBIP using a refreshed methodology, to ensure all buildings are identified accurately.
  • We also reviewed the delivery of our Fire Safety Inspection Programme to ensure it aligns with our new RBIP.
  • Buildings are now classified into very high, high, medium, and low risk. This will enable the Fire Safety team to focus on the very high and high-risk buildings while still addressing medium and low-risk properties where required.
  • Our planning model and Fire Safety work has been tested and has been peer reviewed by other fire and rescue services to ensure the process is robust.
  • Our Fire Safety Managers will oversee the Fire Safety Inspection Programme, focusing on very high and high-risk buildings.
  • All teams will continue to be advised on how we deliver Fire Safety across Surrey and how they can have an impact on our continuous improvement process.
  • Our internal audit process with Surrey County Council and external peer reviews, initiated by the service, will continue to offer assurance of our RBIP.

We are confident that this new approach will result in a robust Fire Safety Inspection programme. HMICFRS will continue to monitor our progress towards its recommendations.