East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is on hand to help businesses understand the risks they face from fire.
It’s raising awareness as part of the National Fire Chief Council’s Business Safety Week (9-15 September 2019).
By law, employers should make sure equipment is installed, maintained and used correctly, whether it is owned or leased by the business.
Pup Upton from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service Business Safety team said:
“We know that running a business can be very challenging, which is why it’s so important to make sure that a fire doesn’t ruin all of your hard work. Even a small fire can mean disruption and loss of income. A serious fire could mean much worse. We want to be able to help you make your business safe and to protect staff, clients and the public from fire.”
The main fire safety law for England and Wales is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
As a business, you should have suitable and sufficient fire safety measures in place.
These include carrying out a Fire Risk Assessment which:
• Identifies hazards such as sources of ignition
• Identities people at risk if there is a fire, such as staff, clients and the public
• Evaluate the risk and take action – can you remove items to reduce the risk of fire?
• Record your risk assessment, create a plan and inform, instruct and train your staff to know what to do in case of emergency
• Review your risk assessment regularly
Businesses should also stay alert to the risk of arson and deliberate fires.
• Before locking up for the night, make sure that there are no obvious dangers left behind and that no materials which would burn or ignite easily are left lying around
• If your business welcomes numerous customers or suppliers onto the premises, ensure that they do not have access to staff-only areas
• Letterboxes should have a metal container fitted on the inside to contain any fires from lighted rags, paper or fireworks.
• Identify entry routes for intruders – via yards, drain pipes, flat roofs. What can you do to prevent such access?
• Don’t let rubbish become a threat – packaging, waste or rubbish must not be left to accumulate anywhere on the premises. It should be moved regularly to a safe storage place.
How we can help
A new Facebook page is being launched which will run a series of hints and tips to help businesses understand things like risk assessments and plan escape routes. It can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/esfrsbusinesssafety/ @esfrsbusinesssafety
The Service offers free Safer Business training which can be booked online, as well as offering Primary Authority Partnerships to provide reliable and consistent regulatory support.
For more information and advice, please go to www.esfrs.org/business