UK Business Safety Week is taking place from 7-13 September and is set to build upon the goals set out in CFOA's Business Safety Strategy according to fire chiefs.
As part of the week CFOA are aiming to help businesses – be they large multi-nationals, trade organisations, small independent businesses or entrepreneurs – to reduce their risk in case of fire, protecting their staff, buildings and resources.
The focus of the week is centred on promoting high-level fire risk awareness and fire safety advice to staff across a broad range of business types. The message of this year's campaign is Keep it SIMPLE and safe with a high-level safety message for each initial letter:
- Store stock safely: keep corridors, stairs and exits clear
- Identify alarm points so you can warn others
- Make sure doors are closed to stop fires from spreading
- Place things that catch fire away from things that cause fire
- Let someone know if you spot fire safety problems
- Ensure everyone knows what to do if a fire alarm sounds.
Gary Ferrand, CFOA Lead for Business Safety said: "Businesses have advised us that September is the time when they are starting to recruit temporary staff to cover the winter seasonal peak. It is important that fire safety knowledge is a key part of their initial training, so they are able keep themselves and colleagues safe. It’s also a good time to remind permanent members of staff of the steps needed to protect themselves, their customers and colleagues. Similarly, the hospitality industry may be already taking bookings for Christmas parties and events."
Over the ten years from 2003/04 to 2013/14, there were:
11,156 fires in retail and vehicle trade premises resulting in 378 casualties, including 12 fatalities
8,837 fires in recreational and other cultural services resulting in 115 casualties, including 3 fatalities
5,041 fires in restaurants, cafes, pubs, etc. resulting in 270 casualties, including 5 fatalities
4,208 fires in schools resulting in 129 casualties
3,648 fires in hospitals and healthcare resulting in 412 casualties, including 4 fatalities
2,823 fires in industrial premises resulting in 102 casualties, including 1 fatality
1,846 fires in hotels, boarding houses, hostels, etc. resulting in 172 casualties, including 4 fatalities
924 fires in FE, HE and pre-schools resulting in 19 casualties.