A fire and rescue service that actively promotes the safeguarding of those in its community and its employees and volunteers. It works proactively to reduce the risk of abuse, harm and neglect.

One that is compliant with safeguarding legislation, understanding and effectively fulfilling its obligations and responsibilities to its Local Safeguarding Adults Boards and Local Safeguarding Children’s Board or Partnership.

A service whose employees and volunteers are trained, supported and empowered to respond to safeguarding needs, appropriate to their roles and responsibilities.

A service that collaborates appropriately with others to ensure a coordinated approach to safeguarding.

Date of approval: 31/01/2022
Date of issue: 31/01/2022
Review date: 28/02/2025
Reference number: FSD-PRE02

A fire and rescue service must:

  1. have a responsible person within the service at the highest strategic level (where reasonable), that demonstrates the services commitment to the importance of safeguarding and is responsible for ensuring:
      • the service is and remains compliant with legislation and follows relevant guidance;
      • the service’s Designated Safeguarding Leads or Head of Safeguarding, where applicable, are appropriately qualified and suitably trained in accordance with legislation and the requirement of Local Safeguarding Adults and Children’s Boards;
  2. only use accredited persons to provide safeguarding training.
  3. educate, train and support employees and volunteers, relevant to their role, in the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, young people and adults at risk of harm.
  4. align local training to its Community Risk Management Plan and the NFCC’s Safeguarding Guidance for Children, Young People and Adults.
  5. implement appropriate and proportionate processes that minimise the risk of recruiting people who may be unsuitable to work with those who are at risk of harm.
  6. work effectively with others (including cross-border working) to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, young people and adults at risk of harm;
  7. have agreed systems, standards and protocols to maintain effective and efficient information sharing, ensuring data is made available to all those who need it, in accordance with national and local guidelines
  8. demonstrate inclusivity by recognising the diversity of its community and providing equality of access.

A fire and rescue service should:

  1. Use the NFCC Safeguarding Guidance for Children, Young People and Adults (including the Self-Assessment Toolkit)
  2. contribute to the continual improvement of safeguarding adults and children at risk of harm by communicating, sharing learning and experiences with the NFCC network of fire and rescue service safeguarding leads through, but not limited to:
      • engaging with NFCC forums;
      • supporting the NFCC Safeguarding Workstream through national and regional structures; and
      • considering appropriate representation at relevant national events and conferences.
  1. Improved safeguarding outcomes for communities, employees and volunteers and a raised awareness of safeguarding evidenced by:
      • measurable safeguarding referrals that encompass both early identification and threshold assessments before referral to Local Authorities
      • an increase in the number of employees and volunteers trained in safeguarding.
  2. Fire and rescue services become trusted and reliable partners on safeguarding to Local Authorities, statutory agencies, and universal services.
  3. Increased numbers of at-risk community members, employees and volunteers living and working safely because safeguarding risks are identified and responded to sooner.
  4. Standardised approach to Safeguarding will help to maximise the efficiency of cross border, collaborative, and shared learning opportunities.

This Fire Standard reflects only the most appropriate legislation to this topic. We recognise that fire and rescue services must comply with a broader list of legislation to undertake their duties, which would be applicable to all standards. View the legislation which applies to all Fire Standards.


We have produced a glossary of terms used in this Fire Standard.

If you took part in the consultation for this Fire Standard, you may be interested to read the post-consultation “You said, we did” report to see how your feedback has shaped the Fire Standard.

You can download the Safeguarding Fire Standard implementation tool to allow you to self-assess your service against the Fire Standard.

Note: Please contact the Fire Standards team within the NFCC CPO for any queries or support with regards to this Fire Standard [email protected]