FOI Request - Emollient products involved in fires responded to by your Fire and Rescue Service

The request was partially successful.

Dear Fire and Rescue Service (FRS),

I am researching the number of fires relating to emollient products.

Therefore, under the Freedom of Information Act, I would like the following information if held:

1) Since 2015, how many fires were responded to by your FRS in which investigators established or believe that an emollient product was either a primary or contributory factor in the fire? Please break this down year by year.

An emollient is a moisturising treatment applied to the skin, typically used to manage eczema or psoriasis.

Such products include - but are not limited to - Diprobase, Zerobase, Cetraben, and E45 creams.

2) What is the total number of fatalities recorded by your FRS in the incidents referred to in question 1 since 2015? Please break this down year by year.

I note in asking this question that statistics on the number of fatalities in emollient-related fires may not be held by your FRS in each or all of the years since 2015. However, please provide the fullest data you hold.

3) Since 2015, how many controlled fire tests on emollient products, or the interaction of emollient products with other products, has your FRS carried out?

By “controlled fire test”, I mean any exercise in which your FRS undertook to understand the flammability of emollient products or their interaction with other products.

4) For all of the controlled fire tests referred to in 3), please provide a copy of the report that ensued from each of those tests.

I understand some details of those involved in the tests may need to be redacted under S40 of the act.

If there are any questions about my FOI request, please do not hesitate to contact me on my email: [email address].

Yours sincerely,

Joshua Salisbury

Info, Cleveland Fire Brigade

OFFICIAL:

Dear Josh Salisbury,

Your request for information has been received and will be dealt with, within the statutory timescales.

Kind Regards
Freedom of Information Officer
Cleveland Fire Brigade
Training & Administration Hub
Endeavour House
Queens Meadow Business Park
Hartlepool
TS25 5TH
01429 872311

NB. PLEASE NOTE THAT INFORMATION SUPPLIED IN RESPONSE TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUESTS PROVIDE DATA FOR INSPECTION BY THE ENQUIRER, BUT DOES NOT GIVE AUTOMATIC RIGHT TO REUSE THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS RESPONSE WHICH IS SUBJECT TO COPYRIGHT AND IS NOT LICENSED FOR REUSE INCLUDING MARKETING.

IN PROVIDING YOU WITH THIS INFORMATION I WOULD LIKE TO DRAW YOUR ATTENTION TO THE RE-USE OF PUBLIC SECTOR INFORMATION REGULATIONS 2005, WHICH CAME INTO FORCE ON THE 1 JULY 2005. IF YOU INTEND TO RE-USE THE INFORMATION PROVIDED, YOU MUST CONTACT THE COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT, AS THEY MAY WISH TO PLACE CONDITIONS ON HOW THIS INFORMATION IS USED.”

show quoted sections

Hi,

Please could I have an update on my FOI request? It was sent on November 30, and was due to be answered by the end of January.

Could you advise of when this will be answered, and will it be this week?

Yours sincerely,

Josh Salisbury

Info, Cleveland Fire Brigade

OFFICIAL:

Dear Josh Salisbury
As stated on our Cleveland Fire Brigade website due to the current situation it may take more than 20 working days to supply information under Freedom of Information. The Information Commissioner recognises that longer time may be needed when CFB staff have to prioritise other work to keep services running during the coronavirus situation.

Regards
Freedom of Information Officer

show quoted sections

Dear Info,

I completely understand that, and of course I appreciate that you have to prioritise other matters given the pandemic.

However, I was merely asking for an indication of how much additional time you may need to answer this request. Can you please give me an estimate of how long this might take?

I have sent this same request to other Fire and Rescue Services who have been able to give an indication of how much extra time they are likely to require beyond the normal 20 working days because of the pandemic.

Yours sincerely,

Josh Salisbury

Info, Cleveland Fire Brigade

OFFICIAL:

 

 

Dear Josh Salisbury

 

Freedom of Information Request

 

I am writing further to your email of 29 November 2020 Month Year where
you requested the following information:

 

1) Since 2015, how many fires were responded to by your FRS in which
investigators established or believe that an emollient product was either
a primary or contributory factor in the fire? Please break this down year
by year.

 

An emollient is a moisturising treatment applied to the skin, typically
used to manage eczema or psoriasis. 

 

Such products include - but are not limited to - Diprobase, Zerobase,
Cetraben, and E45 creams.

 

Less than 5 and incidents were identified by searching the free text and
incident logs for the following criteria; Diprobase, Zerobase, Cetraben,
E45, emollient, emolient, emolent, cream, gel.  Incident was identified as
having emollient products at the scene.

 

2) What is the total number of fatalities recorded by your FRS in the
incidents referred to in question 1 since 2015? Please break this down
year by year.

 

I note in asking this question that statistics on the number of fatalities
in emollient-related fires may not be held by your FRS in each or all of
the years since 2015. However, please provide the fullest data you hold.

 

Unfortunately due to the numbers involved i.e. less than 5 in total, I am
unable to provide a further breakdown of the information you requested. I
consider the information you requested to be exempt under Section 40
(Personal Data) of the Freedom of Information Act.  I feel it would not be
fair to process information which could lead to the identification of an
individual, either from that information alone or from that information
and any other information that may be available to any person. Releasing
the information as requested, could, due to the very low numbers involved
(i.e. less than 5) lead to individuals being identified. Therefore the
first principle of the Data Protection Act would be breached. Section 40
is an absolute exemption and there is therefore no requirement to consider
the public interest in making a decision to withhold the information

 

 

3) Since 2015, how many controlled fire tests on emollient products, or
the interaction of emollient products with other products, has your FRS
carried out?

 

By “controlled fire test”, I mean any exercise in which your FRS undertook
to understand the flammability of emollient products or their interaction
with other products.

 

Cleveland Fire Brigade have not carried out any controlled tests on
emollient products.

 

4) For all of the controlled fire tests referred to in 3), please provide
a copy of the report that ensued from each of those tests.

 

See response to Q3.

 

 

 

You have the right to seek a review of this decision and a request should
be made to the Senior Head of Assets for this purpose. The request should
be in writing with the grounds for a review and sent to the Senior Head of
Assets, at the address below or email [1][Cleveland Fire Brigade request email]

 

Reviews should be made within 40 working days of our response to your
request being issued.  Any requests for review received outside of the 40
working days will be refused.  Please note this is in line with the
Information Commissioner’s own working practices.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may appeal
directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for a decision. 
Generally, The ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the
complaints procedure provided by Cleveland Fire Authority.  The ICO can be
contacted at:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office,

Wycliffe House,

Water Lane,

Wilmslow,

Cheshire,

SK9 5AF.

 

Should you have any queries or require any additional information, please
contact me on the details listed 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Freedom of Information Officer

Cleveland Fire Brigade

Training & Administration Hub

Endeavour House

Queens Meadow Business Park

Hartlepool

TS25 5TH

01429 872311

 

 

[2]Rated Good.

[3]www.clevelandfire.gov.uk

[4]Twitter | [5]Facebook | [6]Instagram | [7]LinkedIn

[8]Confident [9]Stonewall [10]Blue Light [11]Better Health [12]Achieving
[13]Confident

show quoted sections

Dear Info,

I am writing to ask for an internal review of this response, as Section 40 has been misapplied.

In response to Question 1) about the number of incidents involving emollients, it would not be possible for living individuals to be identified from the number of incidents attended.

Most importantly, in response to Question 2) regarding the number of fatalities in fires involving emollients, Section 40 cannot be applied in this case, as it explicitly does not apply to deceased individuals.

I quote from the ICO's guidance on this matter: "The exemption for personal information [Section 40] only applies to living individuals. This means that the exemption cannot be used for information about, and which identifies, deceased individuals."

Therefore, please release the exact number both of the number of incidents attended by your FRS in Question 1) and the number of fatalities referred to in Question 2).

If I do not receive a response to Question 2 - as there is no exemption under which release could reasonably be refused - I will be forced to complain to the ICO.

Yours sincerely,

Josh Salisbury

Info, Cleveland Fire Brigade

OFFICIAL:

 

Dear Josh Salisbury

 

Further to your email of the 09 January 2021 in which you have requested
an internal review of the response by Cleveland Fire Brigade to your
request “Ref 906 – Freedom of Information request – Emollient products
involved in fires responded to by your Fire and Rescue Service”.

 

I have considered your appeal and having taken all the evidence into
account and information previously withheld should now be disclosed and
the answer to your question 1 is as follows;

 

The total number of fatalities in emollient related fires in this time
frame is 0.

 

However there was one fatality recorded where emollient products where at
the scene.  However these were not either a primary or contributory factor
to the fire.

 

In answer to question 2, the incident referred to above happened in 2017.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may appeal
directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for a decision. 
Generally, The ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the
complaints procedure provided by Cleveland Fire Authority.  The ICO can be
contacted at:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office,

Wycliffe House,

Water Lane,

Wilmslow,

Cheshire,

SK9 5AF.

 

Should you have any queries or require any additional information, please
contact me on the details listed 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Freedom of Information Officer

Cleveland Fire Brigade

Training & Administration Hub

Endeavour House

Queens Meadow Business Park

Hartlepool

TS25 5TH

01429 872311

[1]Rated Good.

[2]www.clevelandfire.gov.uk

[3]Twitter | [4]Facebook | [5]Instagram | [6]LinkedIn

[7]Confident [8]Stonewall [9]Blue Light [10]Better Health [11]Achieving
[12]Confident

show quoted sections