Fire PRO

Case studies

National behavioural insights work kicks off

Did you see the story about pregnant women being paid to stop smoking? Who would have known that was a study informed by behavioural insights (BI)? It's the trend increasingly informing Government policies like making a pension opt-out, not opt-in.


These were among the revelations discovered by a group of FirePRO members who attended a workshop delivered by Felicity Algate from the now spun-off Behavioural Insights Team, organised and funded by Mary-Ann Auckland from DCLG.

We heard the details behind the MINDSPACE acronym, which is the basis for BI work, which we can use to make our community safety comms and activity more effective. N is for norm - telling people that most others check their smoke alarm regularly might increase the likelihood of others do so, because they will come to regard it as "normal" behaviour.

E is for ego, which can drive more consistent behaviour. In this respect, studies showed people given a coffee loyalty card with the first two squares already stamped were much more likely to complete the card, as they perceive themselves to be nearer the target. Could our crews test the smoke alarms upon fitting and give the resident a "smoke alarm check" card with the first square signed off?

The workshop followed a behavioural insights pilot study in South Yorkshire using direct marketing to prompt smoke alarm testing. FirePRO is now looking to develop that into a wider study involving several FRSs. If you are interesting in being involved, contact Steve Chu ( or Alex Mills (


No comments have been left for this article

Have your say...

Your name will be published alongside your comment but we will not publish your email address.

All comments will be reviewed by a moderator before being published.

Please ensure you complete all fields marked as mandatory.

Online Poll

Which national calendar do you use to help plan your safety campaigns?