Businesses advised to prepare for Christmas

Cleveland Fire Brigade is asking businesses to use the opportunity of lockdown to check their fire safety ahead of reopening and the Christmas rush.

Joe Flounders, head of fire safety for the brigade, said: ‘This time of increased restrictions and temporary closure to some businesses, public buildings and organisations, provides a great opportunity for those responsible to review their fire safety arrangements and prepare for reopening during this busy time in the run up to Christmas.”

Figures show that 86% of businesses that have a fire simply never recover and literally go out of business.

All business owners have a legal responsibility to ensure people on the premises are safe. This means secure escape routes, unblocked exits, identifying hazards and training staff what to do in the event of an emergency.

Covid-19 restrictions have seen some businesses bringing in one-way systems and social distancing for customers. They are also likely to have extra stock ready for the Christmas rush so thinking about safe storage and escape routes is important.

It is a legal requirement to carry out a fire risk assessment to ensure your premises are safe. Failure to comply with this and carry out any necessary improvements to reduce the risk of fire and keep people safe could result in Fire Rescue Services closing the business.

Cleveland Fire Brigade can provide free fire safety advice over the phone on 01429 874109, in person or virtually utilising a mobile device or PC via Teams. To request a meeting contact fireengineeringhelpdesk@clevelandfire.gov.uk.