Preventive fire protection: safety comes first

In preventive fire protection, safety is the top priority for the Waldeck-Frankenberg district - even though the staffing situation is still inadequate and the district has therefore been struggling to find personnel for years. At the moment, not all inspections that are required can take place. Therefore, objects such as daycare centers, clinics or retirement and nursing homes, as well as hotels and lodging establishments, are currently given priority in the inspections - and are more likely to be inspected than, for example, warehouses or company buildings.


"We know that we are currently unable to implement the controls to a sufficient extent," says First District Commissioner Karl-Friedrich Frese. Last year in particular, he says, the Corona pandemic had an additional impact on the inspection figures. "That's why we are currently focusing on facilities where, for example, there is a high risk to human life in the event of a fire." Quality takes precedence over quantity here, he says: "Of course, you can check whether the fire extinguisher is in place in ten properties on one day, so that the control figures on paper are correct. "But we want to produce real safety - and not just bare figures for the statistics."

For this reason, the hazard prevention inspections are currently focusing on facilities where the danger, for example for children, senior citizens or sick people, could be life-threatening in the worst case scenario in the event of a disaster. In large warehouses, for example, the checks took only a few hours, but in a hospital - including preparation and follow-up - they took several weeks. "The sheer number of checks says nothing about the actual scope and their quality."

The number of the controls had been criticized in the past week however publicly by the circle parliamentary group of the free voters. That the free voters with Uwe Steuber and Heinfried Horsel at the point recognize the situation known for a long time punctually to the local election, of it the first circle delegate shows up little surprised. "That the Free Voters play here, however, with the fear of people to distinguish themselves on the political stage, is a shabby way of campaigning. "And it does not fit at all into the other political argumentation of the Free Voters, who always lament about too high personnel costs at the district administration." In addition, it is ignored that especially in the area of the manufacturing industry, crafts and agriculture, for example, with the employers' liability insurance associations, other bodies under public law also carry out inspections and the operational self-monitoring also has its importance.

Meanwhile, the district prefers to focus on solving the problem - and is working flat out to recruit more specialists for the hazard prevention inspections. A position already created in the 2018 budget could not be filled until February 2020 after being advertised three times. "This shows how scarce adequate personnel are in the field," Frese said. For another newly created position, the selection process currently also has to be repeated because no suitable person could be found. "We are doing everything we can to fill all regular positions as quickly as possible - so that we can carry out the checks even better and in full."