Avon Fire & Rescue Service is committed to complying with the Data Protection Act 1998, ensuring the accuracy and security of your personal information. We will:
- Only use the information we hold about you for the purpose you provided it;
- Only collect the minimum information necessary to fulfil that purpose; and
- Tell you what we will do with your information and who it will be shared with. Although sometimes the law requires that we share your information with other agencies to help reduce crime or investigate fraud.
This privacy statement explains how we use your data and the conditions under which we will share it with others.
We work closely with councils, other emergency services and community organisations and often need to share information with them, to deliver our services. We will not supply these organisations with your information unless we are satisfied that equal or stronger measures are in place to protect the information from unauthorised access. We will not supply your information to any organisation for marketing purposes.
So that we can provide efficient services we need information about those who use our services and our staff. How we use your personal information varies depending on which service you use. For example whether you:
- Use our website.
- Are an employee, agent or contractor working for Avon Fire & Rescue Service.
- Have used our fire and emergency service.
- Have used our safety services in either business, community/home safety or youth services.
By 'personal information' we mean data that is unique to you, such as a name, address or telephone number. We will comply with the eight principles of the Data Protection Act when handling your personal information.
Certain information is categorised as sensitive personal data, including:
- Racial or ethnic origin.
- Political views.
- Membership of a trade union.
- Physical or mental health or condition.
- Sexual life.
- Offences (including alleged offences).
- Religious or other beliefs of a similar nature.
For us to use your sensitive personal data, where possible, we will seek your explicit consent regarding what the information will be used for and who it will be shared with.
We will typically get your consent when you make an application for our services. However, in emergency situations, or where there is significant benefit and it is impractical to seek consent, we will achieve the requirement for consent through community awareness with the opportunity for you to opt out.
We will always comply with the principles of the Data Protection Act when handling your personal information.
Why we use your information
As a fire and rescue service we deliver a number of services that, by law, require us to acquire and process personal information:
- Providing fire and emergency services under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004.
- Enforcing fire safety under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
- Managing our staff under current employment law.
Information is gathered from a number of sources, including those listed below.
You can find out more about how we use your information in the following document
Avon Fire & Rescue Service does not capture or store any personal information about individuals who access our website, except where you voluntarily choose to give us your personal details via email, use an electronic form or enquire about any of our services. In these cases, the personal information that you give us will be used exclusively for providing you with the information you have requested in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
By registering for any service on the website or by providing your information to us, you consent to the collection, use and transfer of your information under the terms of this statement.
We collect information automatically about your visit to the website for monitoring the use of our site and to improve its content. This does not include personal information.
We may use information you provide to make you aware of new or improved services available from us, unless you refuse us permission to do so.
We will not sell, share or rent any part of the information collected on the website to third parties, unless stated on the web page at the point of collecting information from you, or required by law.
The information you provide to us will be held on a server in the United Kingdom and may be accessed by our staff, third parties (including our business partners), government bodies, law enforcement agencies and suppliers we engage to process data on our behalf or who act for us for the purpose set out in this statement.
Given that the internet is a global environment, using the internet to collect and process personal information necessarily involves the transmission of data on an international basis. Therefore, by browsing our website and communicating electronically with us, you acknowledge and agree to our processing of personal information this way.
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Community Safety (including business safety, home safety, youth services)
Information relating to your safety is used for our records, and to identify and offer further services you may require such as a Home Fire Safety Visit.
So that you receive the services you require, we may share your personal and sensitive information with other agencies. However in the majority of cases we will make you aware if your information is intended to be used in this way and provide you with the opportunity to say no. The exception to this is when we are required by law to pass on information.
The fire and rescue service also has a responsibility to promote social wellbeing and to work with other organisations who may be able to provide services to help you. We may contact you to offer relevant safety services, and we may pass your details to our partner agencies to offer relevant services.
We may ask you to complete satisfaction surveys which are anonymous unless you request further information from us. We will only use the information you provide to respond to the service requested.
The personal information relating to our children’s and young people’s services is used to deliver training, record and evaluate our work and to identify and offer any further services that you may require.
We may contact you to offer relevant services and we may pass your details to our partner agencies to monitor and evaluate our service and to offer you other relevant services.
Information relating to business safety is used to complete risk assessments and related actions under the Regulatory Reform Order 2005 (RRO). We may contact you to offer relevant safety services and we may pass your details on to partner agencies to offer relevant services.
The information we collect regarding business fire safety is non-personalised information and is not covered under the Data Protection Act. Under the RRO we are obliged to publish a public register of enforcement action which can be viewed on request.
We will ensure the confidentiality of commercially sensitive and protective security information available to us such as premises plans and access codes. We will not share this information with others unless required to do so by law.
Fire and emergency incidents
Information relating to emergency incidents is used under statutory powers to manage and record incidents and investigate if necessary. We may contact you to offer relevant safety services and we may pass your details to our partner agencies to offer relevant services and support the delivery of our service.
We will collect information about people involved in an incident such as name, age, ethnicity, race and information about the cause of the incident. This information is used to manage our performance and report to Government and auditors. We may also use information to support community safety messages.
We may collect medical information to support the ambulance service in providing care to you.
How We Use Your Information
How we use your information depends on which of our services you have used. For example we may use your information to:
- Record and evaluate our work.
- Investigate fires and incidents.
- Deliver and manage our safety courses and youth services.
- Provide staff development.
- Help you contact other services.
- Offer relevant safety services.
Sharing your information
We have a responsibility to promote social wellbeing. To do this we often need to work with other agencies. To ensure you receive the relevant services we may need to share your personal and sensitive information with other authorities and partners such as:
- Community organisations
- Voluntary services
- Health service
In almost all such cases we will make you aware if your information is intended to be used in this way and provide the opportunity for you to say no, except when we are required by law to pass on the information.
Where it is not possible or practical to obtain your consent to share sensitive personal information, we will only share the information we consider essential to protect your vital interests. Such interests are for the protection of life, reduction of crime and accidents and for improving health.
Where possible your information will be anonymised to remove as much detail as possible leaving only key elements to enable us and our partners to target resources to you.
Sharing information with our partners will only take place under strict data sharing protocols with tight security in terms of the transfer of information. AF&RS will ensure that it meets its requirements under the Act and there are legitimate grounds for processing, regardless of whether the sharing is with the individual themselves, law enforcement bodies, councils and other organisations.Access to your personal information will also be restricted to authorised individuals on a need to know basis.
Information Sharing Agreements (ISAs)
AF&RS currently have an Information Sharing Agreement with NHS England, whereby we share information so that AF&RS can target Home Fire Safety Visits and other community safety campaigns to specific community groups. This information consists of gender, date of birth and address. Below is a copy of the NHS and Fire & Rescue Service’s Fair Processing Statement.
NHS Data – Fair Processing Statement
NHS England, the Royal College General Practitioners and Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) in England, including Avon Fire & Rescue Service work together to ensure preventative resources are offered to those who may benefit most. This is achieved by referrals and the sharing of information (where relevant, proportionate and necessary) to allow Avon Fire & Rescue Service personnel to undertake and Home Fire Safety Checks. If you require more information about how NHS England use and share your information, please click here.
Research has shown that those at high risk from fire death and injury are those who are most likely to impact on a range of NHS services. Home Fire Safety Checks are developed between local health practitioners and FRSs to meet local health-risk priorities. They therefore represent an intervention which can improve people's quality of life while reducing demand on critical services.
The majority of fire deaths in the UK occur amongst the elderly population. However, older people are most vulnerable to fire and a number of other risks. A Home Fire Safety Check from the AF&RS is proven to make them safer and can reduce risk significantly across a range of factors.
In one area of the United Kingdom where this work has been piloted since 2007, there has been a very significant reduction in fire deaths and injuries which has developed into a current trend well below the national average. So we know this work can save many lives.
The FRS and NHS will continue to work together in the future to ensure the visits undertaken by the FRS are effective in helping to make making people safe and well.
When consent is not needed
There are some situations where we are required by law to provide information and reports to a number of organisations. In these situations your consent is not necessary. These organisations include:
- Central Government;
- Bodies employed to process our data; and
- Crime and disorder partners.
Where possible, this information is made anonymous to protect your privacy. The exceptions to this include:
- Information provided to crime agencies relating to prevention and detection of crime.
- Information which is necessary to prevent serious risk to individuals.
- Provision of data to organisations who process data on our behalf. An example of this currently includes our payroll provider.
- Staff payroll data, which is provided to external bodies responsible for auditing and administering public funds. This is for preventing and detecting fraud.
We will retain your information for a reasonable period or as long as the law requires in accordance with our Retention Schedule. In line with the Data Protection Act 1998 we employ strict physical, electronic and administrative security measures to protect your information from access by unauthorised persons and against unlawful processing, accidental loss, destruction and damage both on line and off line.
Access to your personal information
Under the Data Protection Act 1998 you are entitled to see the personal information we hold about you (subject to access request) and you may ask us to make any necessary changes to ensure that it is accurate and kept up to date. If you
- Wish to correct or update the personal information that you have provided to us.
- Choose to opt out of any communications that you may have agreed to receive.
- Have any comments, or requests relating to the use of your personal information.
- Have any comments about this privacy statement.
Data Protection Officer
Tel: 0117 926 2061
You can write using the address at the bottom of this page.