During the past few years, the Helsinki City Rescue Department has moved from traditional fire inspections to an operating method which gives the customers an increasingly active role in recognising their own safety risks and preventing and preparing for accidents. At the same time, methods for the prevention of accidents have been expanded and the amount of actions increased by redirecting personnel resources from other areas of the operations. Last year, the objectives for the prevention of accidents were exceeded.
The prevention of accidents by the Helsinki City Rescue Department is mainly based on combining the self-monitoring by the customers and authority inspections as a shared form of operations, documenting accidents, safety communications and training, inspecting the operating preconditions of rescue operations, expert and consultation services, chemical control, monitoring sweeping operations, and fire and accident investigations. The development of the effectiveness and productivity is also supported by making investments in operation research.
In 2015, the Rescue Department carried out a total of 2,533 fire inspections. Self-monitoring for residential properties was carried out in 1,129 apartment buildings and terraced houses, in a total of 546 housing companies. A total of 31,434 people were involved in safety communications and training. Document inspections were carried out in 2,356 cases, chemical controls in 190 cases, and expert services offered in 1,542 cases. A total of 9,743 monitoring and communications assignments related to accident prevention were carried out. The numeral goals for accident prevention work for 2015 were exceeded by 22%, and the 2014 level was exceeded by 14%.
The development of accident situations and the effectiveness of their control are formed as a combined effect of several factors and operators. Therefore, the effects of individual factors cannot be reliably pointed out on a period of some years. However, a decreasing trend within the past five years can be detected in building fires, which has been a focal point in accident prevention activities.