London Fire Brigade

Brigade’s social media reduces young professionals’ fires

23 April 2013

New figures released today by the London Fire Brigade show that young professionals are having two fewer fires a week since the Brigade started using social media to share vital fire safety advice with the public.

The figures show that young professionals had 1,515 house fires last year. This is a reduction of nearly two fires a week compared to 2009, when the Brigade set up its @londonfire Twitter account and official Facebook page. With over 66,000 followers on both Twitter and Facebook, the Brigade is able to share vital fire safety advice with millions of people and believes this is to thank for the drop in blazes amongst this target audience.

Head of Media and Internal Communications Glenn Sebright said:

“When we started using social media  we were testing waters to see if social media could really work for a fire and rescue service.

“Sharing live updates about fire and other emergencies on Twitter, and photos of homes damaged by fires on Facebook has caught the attention of young professionals especially.

“We’re reaching  people who don’t take notice of traditional public safety messages or advertising, challenging the way we share information at the London Fire Brigade and seeing real benefits as a result.

The Brigade released the figures about the drop in fires ahead of its first ever social media conference which is being held today, aimed at sharing social media best practice with other emergency services, armed forces and public sector bodies.” 

Young, educated people in London are responsible for around a quarter of the 6,000 accidental house fires it attends each year. The Brigade used mosaic profiling data to establish that this group are more likely to respond well to messages via social media and used this information to its advantage when communicating via Twitter and Facebook.

Using social media to target those at risk from fire, including young professionals, forms part of the Brigade’s Draft Fifth London Safety Plan, which sets out how the Brigade will continue to keep Londoners safe over the next three years. The consultation on the plan began on Monday, 4 March 2013 and is set to end on Monday, 17 June 2013.

ENDS

Notes to editors

LFB on social media

The London Fire Brigade has the largest social media presence of any UK local or regional public sector authority in the country and has delivered significant and demonstrable results in cutting fires. It already had great success with its twitter feed, @LondonFire, and the Facebook page is the most successful emergency service page in the country.

@LondonFire has 43,700  followers, whilst its Facebook page has 23,100 followers. It recently shared a photo of some burnt hair straighteners and fire safety advice with its followers, which went viral and reached over 4 million people, which is over half the population of London.

Fires amongst young professionals
Analysis by the Brigade reveals a checklist of lifestyle traits shared by the young professionals
• be aged 18-35 
• be degree educated 
• live in smart rented flats 
• earn more than £40,000 a year 
• enjoy keeping fit 
• drink alcohol more than three times a week
In 2009 fires involving young professionals was 1,610. In 2012 this was reduced to 1,515.

A recent OFCOM report shows that with the growth in smartphone users, there has been an increase in the consumption of mobile data. Consumers’ use of mobile data more than doubled in the 18 months to January 2012.

About the Draft Fifth London Safety Plan

Members of the public can take part in the consultation at  http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/lsp5.asp, or by calling 0800 9888 569, by writing to the London Fire Brigade at 169 Union Street, London, SE1 0LL.

Public meetings are being held which cover every London borough. Members of the public are invited to attend the meetings to hear about the proposals and have their say.