Hereford…One week three commercial fire incidents!
Following three commercial fire related incidents affecting Hereford town centre in less than a week, Station Manager Neil Pigott of Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service is urging all business owners to look very carefully at their fire safety and business continuity procedures.
The first and most serious fire broke out on Thursday 21st October 2010, and required over 100 firefighters to bring the blaze under control in High Town at a cost to directly affected businesses, that is likely to run into millions of pounds. The second incident occurred on the evening of Tuesday 26th October 2010 on Widemarsh Street where a property manager smelled gas - and fearing an explosion, evacuated the property, promptly dialling ‘999’ for the Fire Service. Fire Service and gas suppliers Transco worked together to identify and isolate what turned out to be a significant gas leak – preventing what could have been a large explosion.The latest incident took place at a property in King Street at 12:48pm on Wednesday 27th October 2010, where firefighters were called to reports of smoke issuing from a cellar. Investigations by fire officers found the source of the problem to be a burnt out component in a light fitting. Had the Fire Service not been called a serious fire could easily have developed. The light fitting was isolated by firefighters.
Station Manager Pigott said; “Business managers have both legal and moral responsibilities to ensure their premises meet current fire safety regulations. A business fire can affect the business where the fire started and neighbouring premises –risking the financial security of many individuals and the future viability of the business where the fire started. Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service provides Technical Fire Safety Guidance for businesses and organisations via our website and also through district offices.”
“In circumstances where there is a smell of smoke or gas where it shouldn’t be – take the safe option; evacuate the premises and dial ‘999’. With good business continuity plans in place, this minor disruption whilst an incident is dealt with should have minimal impact. However, if a fire is allowed to develop then the consequences may turn out to be much more serious.”
Further advice for business fire safety can be contacted a Technical Fire Safety Officer at one of our district centres.
Hereford 01432 347 031
Kidderminster 01562 512612
Malvern 01684 572948