A major UK retailer has become the first business to sign-up to a new fire service partnership scheme in South Yorkshire.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) will work with department store chain Boyes as part of the initiative, which will see fire service experts providing the company with safety advice the company can adopt across its sites nationwide.
Partnerships like this, also available to other organisations, are known as Primary Authority Schemes (PAS) and allow the fire service and businesses to come together to improve the quality and consistency of safety and prevention measures.
The schemes also help to cut red tape for larger businesses, by streamlining their compliance with fire safety laws.
SYFR Business Fire Safety Manager Amy Jenkinson, said: “Boyes is a well known local business with strong Yorkshire roots. It has since expanded its operations and now runs 59 department stores throughout the north of England so we are pleased to be working with them to ensure that fire safety compliance is effective and consistent across the company.
“Primary Authority Schemes are a brilliant tool for helping us to work more closely with companies who are proactive about delivering on their fire safety duties and we hope to sign agreements with further businesses to work with them in this way.”
Boyes opened its first shop in Scarborough in 1881 and operates 59 stores across the UK and is due to open its 60th store at the end of November at Firth Park in Sheffield.
Boyes Safety Manager, Vivienne Sheader said: “The safety of our customers and staff is very important to us. We are delighted to have established this relationship which was first suggested to us following a successful routine fire audit that was carried out by SYFR in our Doncaster store.
“Our business is growing every year and to have a single point of reference that is recognised by every local fire authority enables us to apply consistent fire safety standards across all of our buildings.”
Primary Authority Schemes are statutory schemes, established by the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 (the RES Act). It allows an eligible business to form a legally recognised partnership with a single local authority in relation to regulatory compliance. This local authority is then known as its ‘primary authority’.
Primary authorities play a valuable role in leading and shaping the regulation of businesses that partner with them. In doing so, they deliver benefits for the regulatory system as a whole, for the businesses they partner with, and for those that the regulations are designed to protect – consumers, workers and the environment. Primary authorities, including fire and rescue services, are able to charge for this service on a cost recovery basis.