During the week of September 11–17, business safety is promoted by Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.

11 September 2023

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has launched a campaign to help businesses understand their obligations in terms of fire safety and stay safe, legal, and compliant.

It's crucial to realise that numerous fires in the workplace can be avoided, and some companies are never able to recover from such an incident. It's therefore of utmost importance to assist businesses in managing their fire risks and hazards, which could potentially save lives and protect them against financial and commercial losses.

People may be kept safe by taking easy precautions to lessen the likelihood of a fire beginning and by ensuring staff members are trained in the proper response. 

Many businesses will be gearing up for the Christmas season at this time of year, and the cost of living problem may also have an influence. Businesses must make sure that all employees are aware of workplace fire safety procedures and take the danger of fire into account when making modifications to their facilities or working procedures. 

On October 1, new fire safety legislation comes into effect. This will mean that many businesses and building owners need to check if and how this affects them to ensure they are complying with the regulations. 

The main changes are:

  • All businesses will need to record a fire risk assessment and fire safety arrangements in full – regardless of the number of employees, and size or type of business.
  • There are increased requirements for cooperation and coordination between Responsible Persons in multi-occupied buildings, or those where the occupier and owner are not the same person.
  • In residential buildings with two or more domestic premises, residents must be provided with information on the risks from fire and the fire safety measures provided to keep them safe

Group Manager Graham Kewley, from the DWFRS fire safety team, said: “It’s essential that businesses take the time to look at the new fire safety regulations and ensure that their fire risk assessment is properly recorded. The Service can give advice and support to anyone unsure about what is required, and there is a wealth of information on our website, including guidance on how to complete a fire risk assessment – just visit www.dwfire.org.uk/business-fire-safety

Gavin Tomlinson, the NFCC’s Protection & Business Safety Committee Chair, added: “Fire and rescue services are committed to helping all types of businesses reduce the risk of fire in the workplace and be compliant with fire safety law. We don’t expect businesses to be experts, which is why we are here to provide help and advice. We encourage any business to work with their fire service to help prevent fires and remain productive, safe and legal.”

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