Date: 17th December, 2021
Local businesses are being reminded to keep their premises safe from fire in the final run-up to Christmas.
Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service wants all local businesses to check their fire risk assessments and make changes to their processes if necessary.
Group Manager Graham Kewley said: “The festive season brings with it additional fire risks – shops have large amounts of extra stock, there are decorations all around, and there are often seasonal employees who perhaps don’t know the processes as well as other staff. Fire can be devastating, and many businesses don’t recover from having a fire, so we really want people to take a bit of time to check their premises are as safe as possible.”
He added: “All businesses are required by law to have a fire risk assessment, but this may need to be amended to reflect any changes to internal layout, additional lights and decorations, or anything that may impact on your fire safety precautions.”
Among the risks that are being highlighted to businesses are:
- Safe storage of additional stock, not blocking thoroughfares or doors.
- Safe disposal of additional packaging, such as cardboard.
- Maintaining safe escape routes and fire exits.
- Ensuring that temporary staff fully understand what they should do in the event of a fire.
- Keeping decorations away from alarm sensors and anything that generates heat.
- Not overloading plug sockets to accommodate lights or additional equipment. Use gang extension leads rather than plug adaptors, and make sure all electrical items have been had a portable appliance test (PAT).
- Blocking access to, or communal areas of, flats above the premises.
A full range of advice on fire risk assessments, and the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order on commercial premises, can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk/business-fire-safety