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Wiltshire Fire and Rescue

Businesses urged to check fire risk assessments

Businesses in Swindon and Wiltshire are being reminded to keep their premises safe from fire in the run-up to Christmas.

As part of UK Business Safety Week, which starts on Monday, Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service wants all local businesses to check their fire risk assessments and make changes to their processes if necessary.

Area Manager Ian Jeary explained: “The festive season brings with it additional fire risks – shops have large amounts of extra stock, licensed premises are always a lot busier, and there are often seasonal employees who perhaps don’t know the processes as well as other staff.

“Fire can be devastating, and many small businesses don’t recover from having a fire, so we really want people to take a bit of time to check their businesses are as safe as possible.”

Within Swindon, firefighters are supporting the Community Safety Partnership’s Christmas campaign, working with colleagues from Wiltshire Police and Swindon Borough Council to promote the importance of keeping businesses safe.

AM Jeary said: “Many of the concerns we have overlap with those of colleagues within Trading Standards and Licensing, so we are working together to ensure that local businesses understand their obligations under the law.”

Among the risks that will be highlighted to businesses are:

  • Safe storage of additional stock, not blocking thoroughfares or doors.
  • Safe disposal of additional packaging, such as cardboard.
  • Maintaining safe escape routes and fire exits in busy pubs, clubs and restaurants.
  • Ensuring that temporary staff fully understand what they should do in the event of a fire.
  • Keeping decorations away from alarm sensors and anything that generates heat.

A full range of advice on fire risk assessments, and the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order on commercial premises, can be found at