In recent weeks many businesses have chosen to, or had to, close their doors to the public as we all respond to Coronavirus.
Although these premises aren’t operating in their usual way, ensuring their safety is really important to us.
Group Commander Phill Mould, who leads our community and business safety team, said: “A fire in an unattended commercial property could have devastating repercussions for the business, the local community and also residents in the same, or a nearby building.
“At the moment many businesses are not operating in their usual way. It is important that safety and preventative measures are maintained while the country responds to Coronavirus, even if it is as simple as a quick visit to check that commercial smoke detection and alarm systems are still working.
“We would like to ask for business owners and the public to join forces, and help keep the commercial premises in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes safe.”
What can business owners do?
- Make a visit to check your smoke and alarm systems are working, and any electrical appliances which are not designed to be left on, are switched off.
- Ensure all internal and external doors are shut and locked where appropriate. This will help prevent intruders and, should a fire break out, doors can act as a fire break or delay fire spread.
- Consider ways in which someone could start a fire inside or outside of your property. Take responsibility and act on any issues you identify.
- Protect your commercial property. Seek advice on security, good lighting and CCTV – these can all act as a deterrent, to anyone who may harm or damage your property.
- Farms, small holdings and isolated commercial units can also be vulnerable. Lighting around barns and outbuildings can deter the opportunist thief and the would-be arsonist.
- For more information and advice on how to protect your business, please visit the Thames Valley Police website.
What can the public do to help keep our businesses safe?
- Report accumulated or abandoned refuse to your local council. Don’t let it become a target for arson.
- Anti-social behaviour can be linked to arson. Report any anti-social behaviour through your local neighbourhood policing team (online or by calling 101 or 999 for an emergency), neighbourhood watch team or through Crimestoppers.
- Keep watch over commercial premises in your neighbourhood. If you see something suspicious, or a change in circumstances, report it to your local neighbourhood policing team.
- Contact the business owner and let them know you are willing to help.