Essex County Fire & Rescue Service

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EIR1649 / October 2023 / Hoarding

Our ref: EIR1649

4th October 2023

Thank you for your request under the Environmental Information Regulations.

We can confirm that Essex County Fire & Rescue Service does hold some of the information you have requested.

Please see below the answer to your request.

Questions and final response:

Question 1 -This is a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. My request relates to the number of incidents in which ‘hoarding’ played a part. For avoidance of doubt, we are defining hoarding as the accumulation of possessions in one’s home, often to an extreme and impractical degree. ITV News would like to request the following information:

In the last 5 years, how many incidents have your Fire and Rescue Service been called out to attend, where hoarding was identified?

Please break down the data as follows: 1st July 2018 – 30th June 2019 1st July 2019 – 30th June 2020 1st July 2020 – 30th June 2021 1st July 2021 – 30th June 2022 1st July 2022 – 30th June 2023

For each year, how many of those incidents led to injury, and how many to deaths?

Please state whether the injured/deceased where civilians or firefighters in each instance.

Please see attached spreadsheet for the information requested.

Please note that the incidents we attended, will not have been necessarily as a result of a fire call and many will have been requested by partner agencies to attend to gain access or provide assistance to gain access.

Question 2 - For each year, in how many of those incidents was access to the fire or emergency obstructed due to hoarding at the property?

The hoarding may or may not have impeded access.

We attend many incidents when requested to, by other agencies, to gain access to premises for a variety of reasons, using the specialist equipment that our crews carry on the appliances.

Our attendance to gain access to a premise is not necessarily related to Hoarding and may be for other reasons, such as concerns for welfare. The incidents will then note where Hoarding has been observed by our crews at the scene.

Question 3 - Can you also please provide information regarding the number of incidents you have attended for each level of the Clutter Image Ratings?

Our Prevention team use the Clutter Image ratings while conducting Safe and Well visits and other engagements with Residents. If Hoarding is found, an annotation will be placed on the premise that are above level 5 in the ratings.

Any attendance by our crews at a premise that has a level 5 and above rating, this information is relayed to the crew as part of the Risk information to advise crews that there could be a hoarding risk and increase in fire loading.

An extra appliance will also be ordered to attend any incidents where there is an annotation of Level 5 and above.

The Incidents in the data table attached, we can find no reference to Clutter Image Ratings being used.

We hope this information is useful to you.


Incident and other data is published on our transparency site. Incident Data (

Please note that the response and data released to you as part of this request will be published on our website

All requests will be anonymised and no personal information including contact details will be disclosed as part of this process.


Thank you for your interest in Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, we hope this satisfies your request.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to apply for an internal review.

Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of your original email and should be sent to or sent to our postal address: Internal Review, System & Data Information Governance Team, 3 of 3 Kelvedon Park, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex CM8 3HB.

Please ensure you quote the above reference number in all future communications.

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