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Businesses urged not to overlook fire safety

The Hub News Team | 24.8.20

guido_jansen_Nz_zAt4qiuU_unsplashBusinesses across the Marches which have had to make changes due to Covid-19 are being urged to make sure fire safety remains a top priority.

The call comes from the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) as many have had to implement/enforce new ways of working due to the current pandemic.

NFCC is reminding businesses about the everyday fire risks in the workplace - and there is both a legal and moral responsibility to ensure premises are safe from fire.

Many businesses had to respond quickly to the pandemic once they were allowed to reopen and while revisiting risk assessments, fire safety may not have been at the forefront of planning.

As part of NFCC's Business Safety Week - which runs from 7th- 13th September - the NFCC is encouraging business owners and responsible persons (RPs) to ensure they review Fire Risk Assessments. They should also seek guidance and advice to help them keep their premises and occupants safe from fire.

Businesses must consider the potential risks that the Covid secure measures - which are required to open some premises - may in some cases, compromise fire safety measures.

• New screens must not obstruct smoke detection

• Business must have enough trained staff to support evacuation procedures

• Ensure measures to support social distancing do not impact evacuation procedures or the ability of emergency service to help you

• Protect your business from arson

• Help your fire service by reducing false alarms - which currently accounts for about 40% of all emergency calls

Mark Andrews, NFCC's Business Engagement Lead said: "It's been a difficult and challenging time for so many people, and Fire and Rescue Services want to make sure that as businesses address changes needed in response to Covid-19, they remain fire safe.

"Fire can have a devastating impact on business with many never recovering after an incident.

"We are here to support businesses if they need advice and guidance so we ask them to review Fire Risk Assessments and help us to keep your business working safety."

The campaign can be followed on social media using the hashtag #BusinessSafety2020.

Additional advice can be found on the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue or Shropshire Fire and Rescue websites.

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