West Midland pub, club and restaurant owners are being urged to tighten up on fire safety to make sure staff and customers are properly protected against potential tragedy.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health's (IOSH) Fire Risk Management Group held discussions at the HMV Institute, in Birmingham, this week to discuss why there are still accidents 'waiting to happen' in some licensed premises.

IOSH Fire Risk Management Group chair, Paul Graham, said: "We know that many businesses feel that fire safety is a daunting task. The human, financial and reputational costs of dealing with the ramifications of a serious fire far outweigh the cost of robust fire safety management."

Businesses were urged during the even to ask for advice on how to protect their staff, customers and premises against the risk of fire as well as calling for proper training and supervision for those responsible for fire safety.

Graham Homer, West Midlands Fire and Safety Inspector spoke at the event: "The consequences of fire can be devastating and as well as the overriding risk to life, businesses also face the prospect of losing their livelihoods if their premises go up in flames.

"That is why officers from West Midlands Fire Service are keen to work with club and bar owners to ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities under the law. Not only that, how best to assess the risks from fire and put in place the precautions necessary in order to protect their staff, clientele and naturally their premises."

During the event, the 2006 fire at historic rock club Edwards No.8 was used as a reminder of the importance of vigilant fire safety practice; all 500 inside the building escaped with only ten treated for minor injuries.

Posted 28/06/2012 by Matilda Blackwell