Businesses urged to be fire safety aware

Published

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service is proud to lend its support to Business Safety Week, starting today, to help keep customers in the county safe from fire risks.

The annual campaign, organised by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), runs from 5 - 11 September – and aims to make businesses aware of their fire safety responsibilities and provide employees with the information they need to help prevent and respond to fires at work.

Many fires in the workplace will have devastating consequences, with some businesses unable to recover after an incident. But these are often preventable if staff take simple measures to reduce risks.

Businesses, and those living above or adjacent to premises who may be at increased likelihood of being impacted by a fire, are encouraged to seek free guidance from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service either online or by contacting 01473 260588.

A Business Fire Safety Awareness Tool is also available to help small business owners understand their legal duties for fire safety in the workplace.

Jon Lacey, Chief Fire Officer for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, commented:

“Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service is on hand to visit premises across the county and provide advice on protecting buildings, customers, and employees from the risk of fire.

“We don’t expect businesses to be experts, which is why we are always here to help. We urge proprietors to take up this offer of support and work with us to ensure they remain productive, safe, and legal, with an up-to-date Fire Risk Assessment that reflects any changes to how they operate.

“Doing so makes good business sense and will enable Suffolk to remain a safe place for people to visit, live and work in.”

Councillor Andrew Reid, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Public Protection, added:

“This campaign is an important reminder to businesses of their obligation to meet statutory fire responsibilities.

“The consequences of failing to do this can be deadly, which is why earlier this year, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service had no option but to prosecute two businesses in the county who repeatedly breached fire legislation, despite being given ample opportunities to rectify their mistakes.

“I am pleased that this resulted in the companies in question improving their fire safety procedures and would like to thank the protection officers involved in both cases for their ongoing work to protect Suffolk.”

Ipaxis Management Company Ltd in Ipswich was fined £20,000 earlier this year after failing to carry out a suitable and sufficient Fire Risk Assessment for its premises. In June, Beccles-based business Mallard Enterprises Ltd also pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a Prohibition Notice issued by Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service and will be sentenced at a later date.