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Free drop-in session will give advice on keeping your business safe

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Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service will be offering businesses fire safety advice at a special drop-in session as part of the National Fire Chiefs Council's Business Safety Week 2019.

The session, in conjunction with Worcester Bid & Heritage, is for Worcester City Centre businesses and takes place at Worcester Guildhall on Tuesday 10 September.

Business Fire Safety Week, from 9 - 15 September, aims to provide those with responsibility for businesses and public buildings with information and advice to reduce the number of fire incidents and false alarms in the workplace, both of which can have an impact on business safety and productivity.

The week encourages all businesses to ensure they have taken the steps required by law to protect their business and employees from fire. Advice will also be given on preventing arson attacks, reducing false alarms, and if needed fire safety advice for premises with sleeping accommodation adjacent or above them.

“Running a business in the heart of our historic cathedral cities can be a joy and a privilege,” said Station Commander Amy Bailey from the HWFRS Community Risk department.

“But the benefits gained from running your firm amidst the architectural heritage of Hereford and Worcester also bring responsibilities.

“The damage that can be done, not just to your business but to those around it, can still be seen in Hereford after the city centre fire eight years ago. The ramifications are still being felt now.

“Just call in at any time between 08:00 and 18:00 and there will be someone there to offer help and advice.”

During the last ten years, there have been 1,915 fires in business premises, an average of 191 per year and 16 per month with the most common cause being faults in equipment or appliances. This accounted for 20.57% of incidents.

In the same period, the Service attended 33,491 false alarm incidents, meaning that one in 18 incidents in businesses turned out to be fires.

“In 2018/19, there were 177 fires in business premises and while it is encouraging that this figure is 30.04% lower than in 2009/10, it still means that there is a lot of work still to do,” said Station Commander Bailey.

Each business has a legal responsibility to carry out a fire risk assessment which will identify the measures needed to keep the premises safe from fire and keep the people working in and using the premises safe from fire, too.