Date: 6th September, 2021
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is supporting a call by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) for businesses not to overlook fire safety as they reopen fully from the pandemic restrictions.
Each year, the NFCC runs a Business Safety Week campaign – this year, from 6-12 September – which aims to make businesses aware of their fire safety responsibilities, so they comply with legislation to keep both premises and occupants safe from fire.
Many businesses had to close their doors or change their ways of working due to the pandemic. With the economy now reopening, business owners and managers are being urged to review their fire risk assessments and ensure that they reflect any changes made in response to dealing with Covid-19 in the workplace.
Group Manager Graham Kewley, Head of Fire Safety at DWFRS, said: “It’s important that steps are taken to ensure staff are suitably trained, fire equipment is checked and maintained, and any Covid-secure measures don’t compromise fire safety. We can provide free help, advice and guidance to help minimise the risk of fire in the workplace, so I would urge business owners and managers to visit our website or get in touch with us if they’re unsure about anything.”
As well as advice on meeting the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, businesses can ask for help on how to reduce the risk of arson at their premises, and how to cut the number of unwanted fire signals.
Mr Kewley said: “As well as impacting productivity at the affected workplace, false alarms increase pressure on fire service resources and time. In a worst-case scenario, attending a false alarm could delay us from arriving at a genuine emergency, so we are keen to help businesses improve their processes.”
Mark Andrews, Business Engagement Lead at the NFCC, said: “Fire services are committed to helping businesses get back to work so they can continue to make their valued contribution to the economy and local communities. It has been such a challenging time, but fire can have a devastating impact on a business, with many never recovering. Fire and rescue services can provide help and guidance to reduce this fire risk, so we encourage business owners and managers to get in touch with their Service for advice.”
Further information, including how to contact the business safety team, can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk/business-safety