Your data

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is committed to protecting your personal data and privacy.

We recognise that ensuring the accuracy and security of your personal data is essential to retaining your confidence and trust. The information you provide to us will only be used for the purposes that you provide it.

This privacy notice was last updated in November 2018.

Why we collect your personal information

We use personal information about members of the public, businesses and organisations for:

  • fighting fires and responding to road traffic accidents and other emergency situations
  • carrying out home safety checks
  • investigating fires in homes, businesses and public areas
  • providing fire prevention awareness, advice and assistance
  • giving business fire safety advice and inspect premises
  • regulatory, licensing and enforcement actions for business fire safety
  • improving community safety
  • reducing arson and other anti-social behaviour
  • checking the quality and effectiveness of our services
  • maintaining our own records and accounts
  • checking our services meet legal duties, including diversity and equality of opportunity
  • where you have agreed for asking your opinions about our services
  • supporting and managing our staff
  • CCTV on our buildings and vehicles for the prevention and detection of crime
  • investigating complaints about our services

Legal reasons for using your personal data

All the reasons we use your personal data meet at least one of these legal reasons:

  • To carry out our public duties of a Fire and Rescue Service from the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004.
  • To work with other public organisations such as the police, ambulance service and local councils for public safety.
  • For the investigation, detection and prevention of crime or if we are required to do so by law.
  • To protect someone from danger from themselves or others. This could be danger to you, people around you, our staff or staff in other services like the Police or Ambulance Service.
  • Explicit consent for activities that help us in carrying out our public duty of improving general community safety.
  • For staff recruitment, employment or social security reasons.

The data we may collect about you

To deliver our services effectively, we may need to collect and process personal data about you.

Personal data refers to any information about a living individual who can be identified. We will never use your data for third party marketing.

We collect data using:

  • online forms
  • telephone calls
  • personal contact including visits
  • letters and paper forms
  • emails

We collect and use different kinds of information, depending on the situation.

To take 999 calls and respond to emergencies

  • incident details, including location
  • what services have been provided
  • recording of 999 calls
  • type of household, for example single occupant, children
  • information about buildings which might affect how we respond to an emergency – for example, stored flammable goods

To advise on risks at home

  • personal details – for example, name, age, address
  • contact information
  • physical or mental health details
  • lifestyle and social circumstances relating to fire or other risks
  • opinions and decisions on fire safety
  • what services have been provided

To identify community fire risks

  • locations of fire related incidents
  • addresses of fire related risks – for example, occupiers over 65, use of home oxygen, threats of arson

For business fire safety advice and enforcement action

  • contact information
  • licences and certificates held
  • opinions and decisions on fire safety

To check our services meet legal duties, including for diversity and equality of opportunity

  • age group
  • gender identity
  • disability
  • racial or ethnic origin
  • religious or other beliefs

How we protect your information

We have physical, electronic and organisation procedures to protect and safely use the information that we hold about you. These include:

  • secure work areas
  • information security training for our staff
  • access controls on information systems
  • encryption of personal data
  • testing and checking security controls
  • checking privacy when we change how we use or store personal information
  • written contracts with any companies we use for storing information

Where we use more sensitive data, like health information, we protect this information with extra controls.

We use anonymised data wherever we can, so individuals can’t be identified.

Who gives us your information

  • you
  • your family members, employer or representative
  • landlords
  • other public bodies such as the police, ambulance service, local councils and the NHS
  • charities and support services who you have given permission to share your information for fire safety reasons
  • other organisations such as companies who you have given permission to share your information for security or key holding purposes

Who we share your personal information with

Sometimes, we share personal information about you with others. These organisations include, but are not limited to:

  • other emergency services – for example, police and ambulance so we can respond to incidents
  • public utilities – for example, to cut off a gas supply in an emergency
  • local councils, if we have serious concerns about your wider safety that they can help with
  • welfare organisations, if you agree to your information being shared
  • central government – for example anonymised information about our activities used for national fire statistics
  • courts and law enforcement, prosecuting authorities and solicitors
  • insurance companies and loss adjusters where they are authorised to act on your behalf after an incident at your property

Information will only be shared:

  • if it’s strictly necessary
  • to help us meet a legal duty
  • when you agree
  • it’s fair to share under another data protection reason.

You may have the right to refuse.  Where we have a legal basis for sharing your information with our partners, we will have data sharing agreements in place to protect your data.

We may use commercial companies to store and manage your information on our behalf. Where we do this, there is always a contract to ensure that the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are met.

How long we keep your information

We only keep your information for as long as we need it. This is to meet our legal responsibilities and best practice reasons.

How long we keep your information will be recorded within our retention schedules.

Your information rights

In general, you have the right to request that we:

  • provide a copy of your personal information
  • correct any errors in your personal information and restrict processing until completed
  • object to the processing, depending on the service and legal basis
  • erase personal information, depending on the service and legal basis
  • withdraw consent and have your data deleted, if consent is used as the legal basis for the service
  • inform you of automated decision making, including profiling for the service

We will try to meet your request where possible, but we may need to hold, retain or process information to comply with a legal duty.

How to complain

To raise a concern about your personal information rights, you can contact the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Data Protection Officer:

Email: DPO@twfire.gov.uk

Post: Data Protection Officer, Service Headquarters, Nissan Way, Barmston Mere, Washington, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR5 3QY

If you’re not happy with how we deal with your concern, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

This privacy statement covers Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service only. Links within this site to other websites are not covered by this policy.

We regularly review and update this privacy notice to reflect changes in our services and feedback from service users, as well as to comply with changes in the law. When changes are made, we will revise the ‘last updated’ date on this notice.

To request the privacy notices on how we collect and use employee data, email DPO@twfire.gov.uk.