The increasing price of goods, energy, and transportation is having a significant impact across South Yorkshire. As a service, we know that businesses are facing higher operating costs – from fuel and transportation costs to pressure around increasing wages in response to the rate of inflation.
Coupled with this, customer spending is decreasing as households struggle financially and the number of people in fuel poverty is expected to grow significantly this winter.
As a business owner or responsible person, we are aware that these challenges may lead you to try and cut costs in order to remain in business. This could be through making changes to how your premises are utilised, reducing the number of on-site staff you have or using alternative means of heating.
Unfortunately, these cost cutting measures have the potential to increase the fire risk to you, your business, your staff and your customers. Even during these challenging times, business owners and people responsible for buildings must meet their legal requirements for fire safety, and you must take this seriously.
Top business safety tips
Here’s our top tips for keeping your business safe from fire during the on-going ‘cost of living’ crisis:
- Only use heaters in the way they are designed to be used – don’t bring outdoor heaters inside
- Ensure cooking and charging facilities on your premises are designed for this purpose
- Review fire risk assessments following any changes to your premises
- Ensure your premises’ means of escape are not blocked
- Make sure your fire risk assessment reflects the added risk that a decrease in staff may cause
Understand your legal duties
To help small businesses understand your legal duties for fire safety, the National Fire Chief’s Council has developed a free, interactive Business Fire Safety Awareness Tool.