This week (6-12 September), Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Business Safety Week. Business Safety Week urges local businesses that have re-opened their doors not to overlook fire safety and ensure it remains a top priority in the workplace.
Throughout the week, RBFRS will be reminding businesses of their fire safety responsibilities so that they comply with legislation to keep both premises and occupants safe from fire.
As many of the businesses that had to close or change their ways of working during the COVID-19 pandemic have now re-opened, RBFRS is encouraging all business owners and Responsible Persons (RPs) to take some steps to ensure their premises is fire safe. These steps include reviewing the Fire Risk Assessment to reflect any changes made in response to the pandemic, training staff, and checking and maintaining fire equipment. It is also vital that any COVID-19 secure measures still in place do not compromise fire safety.
During Business Safety Week, advice will also be available on reducing the risk of arson. There were more than 4,700 deliberate fires in businesses in the UK in 2019-20, and most attacks are unplanned and opportunist crimes.
Around 44% of fire and rescue service call-outs in the UK are false alarms. False alarms not only increase pressure on fire and rescue service resources and time but they also impact business productivity. However, fire and rescue services can help to reduce false alarms in the workplace.
James Whitton, West Hub Protection Manager, said: “Business Safety Week is the perfect opportunity to engage with local businesses about fire safety. We know that times have been tough for many of the businesses in Royal Berkshire during the COVID-19 pandemic, but fire safety should still be at the top of the agenda. Many businesses never recover from the damage caused by fire, so implementing simple measures to make a premises safer is extremely important.”
While the advice is available throughout the year, Business Safety Week encourages people not to delay reviewing fire safety. You can access our free business safety advice and guidance by visiting our Safety at Work website page. Alternatively, if you have a specific question, you can contact your local Fire Safety Office.
‘A short guide to keeping your premises safe from fire’ is also available on the NFCC website, including translated guides.