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.
A long blackout or a disruption in water supply would test citizens’ crisis resilience. Nearly half of the citizens believe that they would only manage for two days without running water and one third thinks that they could not cope without electric power should a blackout continued longer than three days. This information comes from a survey carried out by the Finnish National Rescue Association (SPEK); the survey addresses preparedness and crisis resilience among citizens.
The MATTI risk assessment model is being created to monitor changes in the security environment. It will support regional security planning and preparedness for disruptions and emergencies. Regional indicators will be used in monitoring that will help identify the root causes of security risks and the phenomena that signal heightened risk levels. The indicators will also be used to anticipate different disruptions and emergencies. Such indicators include, among other things, demographic conditions, wellness indicators, social inclusion and equality as well as security barometers. The project is being implemented in concert with the authorities, organisations and the business community and is financed by the Prime Minister’s Office.
The Security Committee has granted its 2018 Timanttiteko (Diamond Act) award to the group in charge of implementing the National Climate Change Adaptation Plan for 2022. The award was presented on 21 March 2019 at the Erve Forum, an annual cooperation event for security professionals organised by the State Security Networks Group.
This school year’s NouHätä! rescue skills campaign is in full swing. Thirty new schools have joined in to make an all-time high of 555. Safety instructors from rescue departments teach eighth-graders how to prevent accidents and survive hazardous situations.
First-aid extinguishing saves lives and property. Last year fire brigades were dispatched to 5414 building fires, 20 per cent of which were put out with first-aid extinguishing. Eleven per cent of building fires were curbed by first-aid extinguishing. First-aid extinguishing can also be seen as an environmental achievement because it prevented 1,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions being released into the atmosphere.
Fire prevention technology may significantly improve the fire safety of buildings. There are many great equipment configurations that communicate with each other. It is also important for the operation and maintenance of fire safety systems that the users and maintenance personnel are competent. Specialists in fire prevention technology remind us that the equipment needs to be compatible and that it requires regular maintenance to maintain safety.