Association News

UK Fire and Rescue Services helping businesses to stay safe

UK Fire and Rescue Services helping businesses to stay safe

Fire and Rescue Services across the UK will be helping businesses to manage their risk of fire during the Chief Fire Officers Association’s (CFOA) UK Business Safety Week, taking place from 8th to 14th December 2014.

UK Business Safety Week has been scheduled to run at a time when many businesses will have additional fire risks – whether due to large amounts of extra stock, an increase in seasonal employees, or because they are preparing for a winter shutdown period.

Fire and rescue services across the country will be holding a range of events and activities to engage with businesses in their communities, working with them to help manage their fire risk, complete fire risk assessments and ensure business continuity.

Statistics show that in 2012/13 alone, there were 1,826 fires in industrial processing premises, 5,671 fires in commercial/retail premises, and 1,017 fires in health/hospital premises. Whilst the total number of fires in business premises has reduced over recent years, the cost of fire and the subsequent losses have been rising. This would indicate that a fire is more likely to be serious when it does strike, and therefore result in significant cost to the business. CFOA is encouraging all businesses to be extra vigilant at this time of year and consider all risks and re-examine whether they could be mitigated.

A fire in a business can put staff’ and customers’ lives at risk, damage stock and premises, and make it impossible for a company to carry out its day-to-day work, impacting not only on the organisation itself, but on its employees, suppliers and customers.

CFOA President Peter Dartford said: “During UK Business Safety Week fire services will be promoting the work that they do with businesses, helping them to effectively manage the fire safety of their organisations and safeguard their staff, premises, stock.

“But it is not only commercial premises that can be at risk – reducing the potential for fire in buildings used for voluntary and community use is also a key objective of UK Business Safety Week. Many communities may depend upon the support provided by organisations using a community centre, for example, so reminding the owners of these premises to re-consider their risks, especially at this time of year, will help protect the valuable services that these voluntary and charitable groups offer.”

Partnership working is key to UK Business Safety Week, with businesses represented on CFOA’s Business Engagement Forum providing input to the week, as well as stakeholders from the fire sector, including the Fire Industry Association (FIA), Fire Protection Association (FPA), BAFE and the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA).