The fire in a senior citizens’ assisted living facility at Maaninka, 20 years ago, launched an important development which continues to this very day. The combined efforts of different working groups has resulted in several guidebooks and legislative changes. One remarkable achievement is that more than half of the assisted living centres and institutional care facilities are now protected with automatic extinguishing systems.
Volunteer fire brigade youth work now has access to the Kipinä instrument with which the youth brigade’s activities can be developed in a goal-oriented way over the long term. The instrument contains 28 different assessment topics as well as the Kipinä barometer, which provides an overall picture and the sectors where more work is still needed. Kipinä inspires, challenges, guides and supports the development of youth work.
Using the cooker is the greatest fire hazard at home. Eight times each day fire trucks rush to Finnish homes and in one out of three of the cases the culprit proves to be the unsupervised use of the cooker or items left on the hotplate. The Fire Safety Week campaign from 23 November – 1 December advocates the safe use of cookers.
There is a Europe-wide interest for extensive cooperation between schools and rescue services. A fire safety education programme can be found in primary schools in most EU countries, but there is no consistent fire safety education programme in place for post-primary schools in Europe.
"Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union wants EU decision-makers to recognise that wellbeing of people is a prerequisite for economic growth and social and economic stability. Economic growth also creates more opportunities to improve people’s wellbeing.
Wellbeing is one of the cornerstones of the EU and a common European value. In the economy of wellbeing, public resources are allocated for improving people’s wellbeing. Wellbeing means that people are healthier, more innovative and productive, and they work and pay taxes.
The wellbeing of an ageing population also curbs the growth of costs in healthcare and social welfare. The European Commission estimates that the share of people aged 65 or over in the population will increase from the current 17.4% to 29.5% by 2060, while at the same time the population of working age is decreasing in the EU."
The Safety Bag is not just a sack full of various safety-related items. It is sum total that also promotes psychological security. For example, Safety Bag instructor training can be given to immigrants and those who work with them. When immigrants master the content of the Safety Bag, and safety technology, it not only supports their integration into Finnish society, it also promotes safe living for all of us.
In Finland it takes, on average, 17–18 minutes for the rescue department to arrive when a fire breaks out. These are the most critical minutes as regards saving lives, carrying out initial extinguishing and even for safeguarding business continuity. Fire safety systems provide more time for action during the most critical minutes and help stop as quickly as possible a threatening situation from escalating.
There are several camps for young volunteer firefighters at the end of June in different parts of Finland. Almost 2,000 junior firefighters will attend the camps to actively pursue firefighting skills. Training starts daily after breakfast and ends in the afternoon. Following that, there is lots of time to go swimming, play games and sports and hang out with friends.
Buildings are increasingly being fitted with fire prevention systems. They protect people and property, and safeguard business continuity. According to inspection statistics the systems are also increasingly reliable. The Fire Prevention Technology Development Group points out that system maintenance requires competency from those that work with the equipment.
Many human problems become stumbling blocks when it comes to utilising intelligent fire safety solutions. Shortcomings prevail in knowledge, attitudes, resources and technology. Fire protection technology is often seen as something from which cost savings can be easily achieved. The Finnish National Rescue Association SPEK and the TUT Fire Laboratory at Tampere University of Technology compiled a report on the related attitudes.