Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service urge businesses to ‘keep it simple and safe’ this Christmas

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service are reminding local businesses about fire safety in the workplace in the run up to Christmas.

A person throws a Christmas tree on a bo

Firms often employ temporary staff during the festive period, and they may not have the same level of fire safety awareness and training as permanent members of staff. They may be unaware of the steps needed to protect themselves, their customers, and colleagues.  Now is also a good opportunity to remind existing staff that with an increase in staff, stock and customers, fire risks in the organisation will change.

This season’s message for businesses is ‘keep it simple and safe.’ This message should be used by businesses to raise fire safety awareness with their employees.

Paul Hanby, Fire Protection Manager with Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, said: “After 20 years’ experience dealing with fires, many of them in places of work, I know how important it is for businesses to be aware of their duty to staff and customers by ensuring they are well trained and aware of fire safety procedures and what to do in case of emergency.   This is a reminder to local businesses that Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service are here to offer advice and help on making the workplace safe from fire. We ask employers to make this a priority by contacting us if they have not addressed fire safety, to review their arrangements and staff training on a regular basis.”

Helping businesses to manage their fire risks and hazards and safeguard their businesses against financial and commercial loss, and potentially to save lives, is a key priority of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service throughout December. Assisting companies to safeguard their staff, premises and stock also supports the wider supply chain interconnecting them with customers and suppliers.

Fire can cause major disruption for businesses – there is a far greater chance of recovery if the risks have been identified, and appropriate steps put in place to prevent fires starting, or to mitigate their impact.

The key messages for ‘keep it simple and safe’ are as follows –

  • 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

Fires, deaths and injuries figures –

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
  • 5,041 fires in restaurants, cafes, pubs, etc. resulting in 270 casualties, including 5 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

In 2013/14 alone, there were:

  • 2,139 fires in industrial premises
  • 5,561 fires in commercial/retail

Statistics from Fire statistics Great Britain 2014