Northamptonshire businesses urged to review fire safety as coronavirus pandemic may have created fresh risks
'Our work and advice to businesses does not focus on compliance at any cost'
Northamptonshire businesses are being urged to review fire safety at their premises after a challenging 18-month period due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service believes owners may mean that they need to evaluate any changes to risk assessments as they reopen following the restrictions.
Advice and guidance is available to help minimise the risk of fire in the workplace as part of the National Fire Chief Council’s (NFCC) Business Safety Week this week.
Community protection manager Scott Richards said: “We know what a challenging 18 months this has been for businesses, but it is important that they continue to meet their legal duties.
“We support the NFCC’s Business Safety Week and promote our commitment to working with our local businesses and ensure that both occupants and premises are kept safe from fire.
"We will be able to provide advice and guidance, whether it’s on fire risk assessments, ensuring staff are suitably trained or that fire safety equipment in checked and maintained.
“Our work and advice to businesses does not focus on compliance at any cost.
"Officers will regularly discuss solutions with owners that are more suitable to a particular situation, more pragmatic and easier to manage and, in some cases, more cost effective.”
The fire service's protection team can also advise on reducing the risk of arson by taking simple steps to protect your premises.
There were more than 4,700 deliberate fires in businesses in the UK in 2019-20 and most attacks are unplanned and opportunist crimes, according to the fire service.
They can also help to reduce false alarms in the workplace as these can impact business productivity.
Around 44 per cent of fire service call outs in the UK are as a result of false alarms – which puts pressure on fire service resources and time, both of which could be spent dealing with genuine emergencies and community prevention and protection activities.
NFCC business engagement lead Mark Andrews added: “Fire services are committed to helping businesses get back to work so they can continue to make their valued contribution to the economy and local communities.
“It has been such a challenging time, but fire can have a devastating impact on a business with many never recovering.
"We encourage businesses to get in touch with their local fire service for advice.”
For more information, email [email protected] or call 01604 797000 and ask to be put through to a fire protection officer.
Follow the fire service protection team on Twitter at @NFRSBizSafety and following the NFCC campaign by searching for #BusinessSafety21.