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01/12/2020

Fire safety vigilance protects businesses, staff and visitors

Timely advice as lockdown 2 ends and Christmas approaches

Businesses that were previously unable to operate due to restrictions brought in through the second national lockdown will now be starting to operate again, within the Government’s tiered guidelines.

In order to provide support to businesses throughout the Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service would like to ensure it works towards keeping your business in business.

Group Commander Phill Mould, Head of Protection, said: “We recognise that as an outcome of this past year, we have had to find new and effective ways of working to provide advice to business owners with fire safety advice.

“We will be operating a call-back service where businesses can contact our fire safety teams to discuss areas around fire safety matters.”

As we approach the busy Christmas period and in anticipation of further businesses beginning to open, we have included an initial list of the following considerations that you can check to ensure fire safety is at the forefront to protect your business, employees and visitors.

 

  • Change of use: Any temporary changes in use within your premises – for example, the introduction of sleeping risk at your premises or an increase or decrease in staffing levels.
  • Fire door survey: Are your fire doors up to standard, with all their features intact and doors not propped open?
  • Any alterations to the building :Has the internal layout changed with your plans being updated?
  • Increase in stock levels: Particularly due to the Christmas season. Storage of stock should not compromise escape routes.
  • Temporary staffing: Are staff fully trained with appropriate actions to take in the event of an emergency? For example, they need to know the location of manual break-glass points and fire assembly points.
  • Test records: Are the test records (for example fire alarm panel, emergency lighting, electrical installation condition report, and evacuation drills) being maintained in line with British Standard?
  • Onsite equipment: Has your equipment or machinery been tested and maintained in-line with the manufacturer’s recommendations?
  • Fire assembly poin: Is your fire assembly point still workable, taking into consideration social distancing and shared facilities?
  • Arson prevention: Is your building kept secure and surrounding areas kept clear of the accumulation of combustible materials?

As we continue to enter new ways of working this is the time to review your fire risk assessment to ensure it is suitable and sufficient. Guidance specific to your type of business to help with your fire risk assessment can be found at the link at the bottom of this page.

Our teams are on hand to help you return to work safely.  If you have any queries about fire safety in the workplace, please email firesafetyenquiries@bucksfire.gov.uk

Phill added: “Over the past few years there have been several incidents both locally and nationally that have resulted in deaths, injuries and near misses. Unfortunately, when a fire does occur, many businesses find it difficult to recover from the event.

“Many fires within business premises are preventable, providing the correct measures are in place. We would like to wish you every success as you open up again.”


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