Advice to Keep Your Business Trading!
Following a serious fire in which over 100 firefighters tackled a city centre blaze in High Town Hereford, business owners are being reminded of their fire safety and wider community responsibilities for premises that they manage.
Mike Cunningham, Group Manager – Technical Fire Safety for Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said;
"Business managers have both legal and moral responsibilities to ensure their premises meet CURRENT fire safety regulations. The Service provides guidance for business on its website and also through its district offices. Failure to meet statutory regulations could result in - damage to reputation, personal injury, loss of life, or loss of business in addition to the potential for prosecution."
"As well as ensuring fire risk assessment and business continuity plans are up-to date and checked by a competent person, managers should also consider the installation of modern fire prevention systems such as sprinklers which are capable of halting and quickly extinguishing a developing fire – thereby preventing the type of spread that could affect a building and neighbouring premises."
Group Manager Cunningham continued;
"Heritage properties present a particular concern for a number of reasons;
- Construction (e.g. timber frames or thatched roofs) that require unique prevention solutions
- Access for firefighting
- Preservation of aesthetic and irreplaceable features
"The costs associated with fires affecting these properties can be MUCH more significant than fire prevention / protection system installation. It is also important to understand; sprinklers and water mist systems specifically designed to protect heritage premises can now be installed very discreetly, do not 'false-alarm' when set up correctly, and, cause far less damage than a serious fire ever could!"
Group Manager Cunningham concluded;
"Fire can start for a wide variety of reasons. Up to date fire risk assessments that have been acted on, will significantly reduce the risks of fire starting in your premises. And, business continuity plans which include details such as the ability to access your valuable commercial data outside an emergency cordon in the event of a major incident, ensure you can continue trading!"
Further advice for business fire safety can be found on our website or, contacting a Technical Fire Safety Officer at one of our district centres…
Hereford 01432 347 031
Kidderminster 01562 512612
Malvern 01684 572948