Businesses urged to check risk assessments after fire at West Sussex takeaway

Independent takeaways and fast-food outlets are encouraged to review their fire safety procedures.

Visible smoke damage to the kitchen area. Credit: WSFRS

Release date: 13 March 2024

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service officers are keen to work with independent food premises looking to improve the management of fire safety within their businesses following a serious fire at a takeaway.

The plea comes after firefighters from Shoreham, Worthing and East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service responded to a fire on Upper Shoreham Road in Shoreham on 26 December 2023 which is believed to have been started accidentally in the kitchen.

Crews from South East Coast Ambulance Service also attended the incident and treated a man for smoke inhalation and burns.

Dave Bray, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service Area Manager for Protection, said: “Following a serious fire, 25% of businesses never re-open, and there are a large number of fire risks in restaurants, fast food outlets and takeaways that business owners must be aware of. These risks increase significantly where there is also sleeping accommodation provided within the building.

“Not only do these fires ruin livelihoods, as seen at the fire in Shoreham, they can also cause injuries. We are keen to work with independent takeaways and fast-food outlets to ensure that they, their employees, customers and their local communities are protected from fire and kept as safe as possible.   

“We have lots of fire safety information for businesses on our website, including an interactive Business Fire Safety Awareness Tool, as well as contact details for our Fire Safety team should anyone responsible for adhering to fire safety legislation wish to get in touch with us directly.”

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service also offers a range of fire safety training courses for those in control of businesses or non-domestic premises to book onto, and fire extinguisher servicing.

Using the expert knowledge of our trainers, most of whom are serving operational firefighters, attendees will receive expert fire safety training that can be tailor-made to suit individual businesses.

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