Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service station manager Graham Kewley said,
“We’d like to remind businesses to keep on top of their fire safety checks. Whilst this reminder has not been prompted by a spike in incidents, we are becoming increasingly aware of the build-up of mail and advertising material on floors below mailboxes on commercial premises. We understand this is due to the delay in some small businesses reopening, but owners and managers should be aware of the increased arson risk that this presents and remove regularly.”
Where businesses and commercial premises are not in regular use, the building manager or responsible person should ensure that they take the following precautions to reduce the threat from fire in their premises:
1. Make regular checks on the premises – consider removing post from letterboxes and doorways as this can present an easy target for opportunistic fire setters.
2. Close internal doors – this will significantly reduce the spread of smoke and fire in the event of an incident.
3. Switch off non-essential machinery and office equipment – this will not only reduce electricity use but also reduce the chance of overheating
4. Update keyholder details with Alarm Receiving Centres – Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service policy requires that automatic alarms are verified by the responsible person and it is important that alarm monitoring companies have accurate details.
5. Remove any accumulated combustible items from around buildings – this should include refuse and potentially fly tipped items which may pose a fire hazard.
6. Make regular checks of CCTV to identify any suspicious activity around the premises.
7. Where fire safety systems are installed to protect other people within the building, for example where residential accommodation is above commercial premises or where shared escape routes are involved, it is important that these systems are tested and maintained in working order.
8. Where staff have been furloughed, it is important that sufficient trained staff remain available to carry out essential testing and fire warden duties in the event of an incident.
Further advice on fire prevention can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk or by calling 01722 691717 during office hours to speak to a Fire Safety Officer.
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