Let’s help keep West Sussex businesses safe from fires

 

Release date: 9 September 2019

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service will be joining other fire and rescue services across the UK in promoting business fire safety this week.

Business Fire Safety Week runs from 9-15 September and aims to provide businesses with information and advice to reduce the number of fire incidents and false alarms in the workplace, both of which impact business safety and productivity.

Statistics show that in 2017-18 there were 19,033 fires in UK businesses with about 30% (5,293) being deliberately set.

In West Sussex, firefighters were called out 47 times to fires in non-dwelling properties between June 1 and June 30 (the most recent figures).

Businesses are asked to double check they have taken the steps required by law to protect their business and employees from fire. In particular:

  • Preventing fires in the workplace
  • Protecting businesses from arson
  • Reducing false alarms in the workplace
  • Protecting accommodation on commercial premises.

Lee Spencer-Smith, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Group Commander for Business Fire Safety, said: “Many small businesses never recover from the damage caused by fire, so it is really important to factor in fire safety particularly as part of preparations in the run up to Christmas.

“Around a third of fires in the workplace result from electrical faults and misuse of electrical equipment. The majority of these fires are likely to be preventable by taking some simple steps and making sure staff are fully trained and aware of the risks.

“I would urge all business owners to stop and think if they are fully prepared for the risk of fire this Business Fire Safety Week.”

Chair of NFCC's Protection and Business Safety Committee, Mark Hardingham, said: "We encourage business owners to get in touch with their local fire service and find out about the help available so business can flourish and support the UK economy and local community in a safe and sustainable way."

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