This glossary is a living document and could be added to or amended over time. Fire and rescue services will be notified should any of these terms change.

Term Definition Source
Absolute risk Metrics that directly quantify the risk, comparable to accident statistics. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Acceptable risk A risk level from an activity that most people are expected to consider insignificant and adequately controlled.
HSE R2P2 (adapted)
ALARP region A risk level that should be made “as low as reasonably practicable”, using risk assessment to select appropriate controls.
HSE R2P2 (adapted)
Benefit Improvement to something valued, such as health, well-being, wealth, property, or the environment.
Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Cause The reason why an event happens. Includes immediate and underlying causes. Cambridge
Dictionary (adapted)
Community risk The risk of unwanted events that might occur in the community, which the fire and rescue service aims to reduce. Includes fires, road traffic accidents and other incidents that the fire and rescue service might respond to. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Consequence The outcome of an event. Specifically, the severity or extent of harm caused by an event. ISO Guide 73:2009
(adapted)
Context The circumstances that form the setting for an event. Specifically, the activity or setting in which risk arises. Lexico.com (adapted)
Control A measure that maintains or modifies the risk. Includes preventive, mitigating and management controls. ISO 31000: 2018
Corporate risk The risk of events that might occur in the fire and rescue service. Includes operational risk and other events that might affect the ability of the fire and rescue service to carry out its operations. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Decision criteria Benchmarks that advise on cost/risk/benefit trade-offs. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Demand The pattern of emergency calls for fire and rescue service assistance. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Downside risk The possibility of something bad happening. This the same as “risk” by the definition here. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Event An occurrence or a change of a set of circumstances. ISO Guide 73:2009
Frequency The number of events per unit of time. ISO Guide 73:2009
Group risk The total risk to a specific group. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Harm Unwanted impact (such as loss, damage or injury) on something valued, such as health, well-being, wealth, property or the environment. ISO Guide 51:2014
(adapted)
Hazard A potential source of harm. ISO Guide 51:2014
Hazard identification The process of recognising and describing hazards. ISO 31000: 2018
(adapted)
Hazardous
event
A potential event that can cause harm. ISO Guide 51:2014
(adapted)
Incident An event requiring fire and rescue service assistance. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Individual risk The risk to specific individuals. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Likelihood The chance of something happening. May be described by the probability, frequency or uncertainty of events. ISO Guide 73:2009
(adapted)
Objective The thing aimed at. Specifically, what the risk assessment aims to achieve. Cambridge
Dictionary
Operational risk The risk of unwanted events that might occur to the fire and rescue service while carrying out its operations. Includes firefighter occupational accidents or illness. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Opportunity A potential source of benefit. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Perceived risk Subjective judgement of the risk level. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Prevention Reducing the risk of, and changing people's perception and behaviour towards fire and other hazards. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Probability The chance of occurrence expressed as a number between 0 and 1, where 0 is impossibility and 1 is absolute certainty. ISO Guide 73:2009
Protection Enforcing fire safety legislation and providing related advice. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Relative risk Metrics that are proportionate to the risk but not comparable to accident statistics. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Response Responding to fire and rescue incidents. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Risk
(Non-technical)
The possibility of something bad happening. Cambridge Dictionary
Risk
(Technical)
A combination of the likelihood and consequences of hazardous events. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Risk analysis The process of characterising risks, including determining the risk level where appropriate. ISO 31000: 2018
(adapted)
Risk assessment The process of recognising and characterising risks and evaluating their significance to support decision- making. Includes hazard identification, risk analysis and risk evaluation. ISO 31000: 2018
(adapted)
Risk criteria Benchmarks that define the significance of risk. ISO Guide 73:2009
(adapted)
Risk evaluation The process of assessing the significance of risks. Compares the results of a risk analysis with risk criteria ISO 31000: 2018
(adapted)
Risk identification The process of recognising and describing risks. For down-side risks this is the same as hazard identification. ISO 31000: 2018
(adapted)
Risk group A set of people or assets that could be harmed. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Risk level The magnitude of a risk. Expressed by a risk metric. ISO Guide 73:2009
(adapted)
Risk management The process of directing and controlling a service with regard to risk. ISO Guide 73:2009
(adapted)
Risk metric A way of measuring the risk level. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Threat Another word for hazard, specifically one that is externally imposed. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Tolerable risk A risk level from an activity that people are expected to bear in exchange for the benefits from the activity. HSE R2P2 (adapted)
Unacceptable risk A risk level from an activity that people are not expected to bear whatever the benefits from the activity. HSE R2P2 (adapted)
Uncertainty Lack of knowledge about an event, its consequence,
or likelihood.
ISO Guide 73:2009
(adapted)
Upside risk The possibility of something good happening. This is not a risk by the definition here but is admitted in other definitions. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research
Vulnerability The susceptibility of a risk group to harm from a hazard. Definition of Risk – Phase 1 Research