Businesses across South Yorkshire are being reminded of their duties under fire safety laws, as part of a major national awareness campaign.
The South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) safety plea includes a call on businesses to make sure their fire risk assessments and staff training is up to date and that their alarm systems are working properly.
The warning comes during UK Business Safety Week (5 to 11 September). The awareness week, coordinated nationally by the Chief Fire Officer’s Association (CFOA), seeks to get businesses to engage with local fire services to help manage their fire risk, get advice on completing fire risk assessments and ensure business continuity.
SYFR Business fire safety manager Amy Jenkinson, said: “Our aim is always to engage with local businesses in a positive way and to work with them to make improvements before we have to resort to taking enforcement action, which may include closing part or all of a building, or resort to criminal prosecution.
“But the recent increase in the number of prohibition notices served is worrying and we’d urge business owners to take the time to learn about their responsibilities under fire safety legislation and complete a fire risk assessment to reduce the likelihood of suffering a serious incident which could put their business and their people in danger.”
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) has tackled more than 500 fires in non-domestic properties in the last three years.
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
Sprinklers– consider installing sprinklers, but make sure you leave a good distance between your stock and sprinkler heads
For more fire safety advice for businesses, visit www.syfire.gov.uk/business-advice