Cost Benefit Analysis of Options to Reduce the Risk of Fire and Rescue in Areas of New Build Homes

01 February 2010
By Michael Spackman with Stewart Carter and Stéphane Gros

In this study for the UK Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG), a NERA team led by Special Consultant Michael Spackman carried out a cost benefit analysis (CBA) of options to address the fire and rescue service needs in areas of new homes, focusing on the Thames Gateway region covering parts of east London, south Essex, and north Kent.

The team drew on information from CLG's Fire Service Emergency Cover toolkit and other sources to estimate the future benefits and costs from installing sprinklers in new homes and from increasing Fire and Rescue Service resources.  NERA compared the estimated capital, operating, and maintenance costs for each policy option with the potential benefits, including avoided fatalities, injuries, property damage, and CO2 emissions.

In the report, the team discusses the policy implications of the results for the Thames Gateway, including whether the costs of installing and maintaining sprinklers in new homes would be justified by the potential benefits; and comments on the applicability of the results to other parts of the UK. The team also provides suggestions for possible further analysis.