Wednesday, December 10, 2014

News: Festive warnings from fire sevice

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Businesses should take extra care to protect their staff, premises and stock this festive period - that's the message from the fire service during a major national safety week.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) has tackled more than 500 fires in non-domestic properties over the last three years, with December considered a peak month for fire risks.

Additional risks at this time of year include large amounts of extra stock, an increase in seasonal employees and the implications of winter shutdown periods.

The call comes during UK Business Safety Week, which is coordinated nationally by the Chief Fire Officer's Association (CFOA), and seeks to get businesses to engage with local fires services to help manage their fire risk, complete fire risk assessments and ensure business continuity.

Top safety tips for businesses include:

- Keep fire escapes clear - make sure extra stock is stored away from fire escapes, ensuring staff and customers can get out safely in the event of a fire
- Check alarm systems - regular checks and maintenance help to eliminate automatic false alarms and ensure the alarm is working if required
- Complete a fire risk assessment - not only will it help to reduce the risk of suffering a fire in the first place, it will help make sure you comply with fire safety laws

Amy Jenkinson, fire safety manager at SYFR, said: "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 business itself, but on its employees, suppliers and customers.

"We know December is a busy period for many businesses, particularly retailers, but this can mean basic precautions which are normally taken throughout the year are forgotten. Basic steps, like keeping fire escapes clear and making sure alarm systems are working properly, can help businesses avoid serious incident and help ensure they comply with the law."

To support the campaign, the fire service is holding a drop in session in conjunction with Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce. Any business people wanting more information about fire safety and their obligations under fire safety law can speak to an advisor at the free event on Friday December 12 at the Chamber's Rotherham office at Templeborough.

SYFR website
Chamber website

Images: SYFR

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