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The Fire Service

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Does a business need to have fire extinguishers?

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You should look at the appropriate guide for your type of business premises and judge the appropriate type of extinguisher based upon the risks. In general though you should provide one fire extinguisher for every 200m2, with at least two extinguishers on each floor.
If you operate within a very small premises, and only occupy one floor, then one extinguisher appropriate to the level of risk may be ok. Guidance should be sought from a competent fire extinguisher provider.

Does a business fire alarm need to be tested?

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Yes. You should test your business fire alarm once a week. You should test a different call point each time. The result of this test should be recorded. Your alarm must be tested twice per year by a competent alarm engineer.

Does emergency lighting need to be tested?

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Yes. Emergency lighting should be tested once a month to ensure that it is working and the findings of the test recorded. Emergency lighting should also be tested once a year by a competent person.

I think there are gas cylinders being stored dangerously, is this an issue for the fire service?

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Gas cylinders for barbecues and patio heaters need to be stored, handled and used properly. Store gas cylinders in an upright position outside of the home, away from drains, heat, and sources of ignition. Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service does not enforce the storage of gas cylinders at domestic addresses. Concerns about gas cylinder storage should be referred to the Environmental Health department local to the address.

My neighbour has high hedges is this a fire risk?

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High hedges are not a fire safety concern, they are an issue to address in the first instance with the person whose land the hedge is on. If this is unsuccessful and the high hedge meets certain criteria, you can ask your council for a complaint form, but be aware that you may need to pay the council a fee to consider your complaint.

Do I need to let you know I am having a bonfire?

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Bonfires can be a fire risk, so we would always recommend looking for alternative ways to get rid of your waste. Some areas of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes are designated smoke free areas which means that you will need to check with your local council if a restriction affects your address. You do not need to notify Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service of your intent to have a bonfire.

I am worried a fire engine could not get down my road, can you help?

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Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service regularly receives complaints about nuisance parking, despite having no power to regulate it. Concerns about parking that poses an immediate danger to the public, such as preventing an emergency vehicle from accessing a street, should be reported to Thames Valley Police online or by calling the non-emergency number 101.

Do you provide school assemblies or lessons?

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Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service aims to provide an educational engagement visit to every Year 5 child in primary school. To arrange an educational engagement visit, please email with the name and address of the school, a contact name and phone number and if any of the pupils have special educational needs.

Do you visit groups to provide fire safety talks?

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Organisations such as the Women’s Institute, residents in sheltered housing, carers, district nurses etc. may request a talk about fire safety in the home. These are delivered by a Community Safety Co-ordinator who will liaise with the group to confirm desired content and an appropriate time. To request a fire safety talk email with the name of the group, the address of the group’s regular meeting place, a preferred day/night of the week, a contact name and phone number.