Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is offering businesses fire safety advice as part of the National Fire Chiefs Council's (NFCC's) Business Safety Week 2019.
The campaign which runs from 9th - 15th September aims to provide businesses with information and advice to reduce the number of fire incidents and false alarms in the workplace, both of which impact business safety and productivity.
The week encourages all businesses to ensure they have taken the steps required by law to protect their business and employees from fire. Advice will also be given on preventing arson attacks, reducing false alarms, and if needed fire safety advice for premises with sleeping accommodation adjacent or above them.
The lead up to Christmas can be a busy time for businesses so NFCC and GMFRS are calling on people to take the opportunity now to review risk assessments and escape plans in preparation for Christmas as they may take on extra stock and new or seasonal staff.
Chair of NFCC's Protection and Business Safety Committee, Mark Hardingham said: "Fire can have a devastating effect on small and medium size businesses. The NFCC is committed to supporting business and linking them to their local fire and rescue service who can help and advise them on reducing their fire risk.
"We encourage business owners to get in touch with their local fire service and find out about the help available so business can flourish and support the UK economy and local community in a safe and sustainable way."
GMFRS will be focusing their Business Safety Week campaign on helping businesses to reduce false alarms. False alarms cost the UK economy an estimated £1billion a year and take fire crews away from community safety activities and real emergencies.
GMFRS Assistant Chief Fire Officer and Director of Protection, Tony Hunter said: “Recently we have changed the way we respond to fire alarms, in the past GMFRS was attending over 9000 calls to fire alarms every year and 99% of these calls were false alarms caused by sources such as burned toast, steam from appliances or smoking within prohibited areas.
“We need businesses to work with us to reduce the number of false alarms in Greater Manchester. False alarms cause disruption to businesses and take our firefighters away from real emergencies, critical training and fire prevention activity.
“This Business Safety Week we want to remind businesses to ensure they protect their property and the people in it with a fire alarm and continue to keep this in good working order. The type of fire alarm you need should be identified in your fire risk assessment, you should test and maintain the alarm including having it serviced on a regular basis and have procedures in place to evacuate when the alarm sounds. If you have problems with your fire alarm including false alarms you should seek guidance from a competent fire alarm engineer and talk to your alarm receiving centre about implementing a call back or delay on the alarm to ensure only genuine alarms go through to your receiving centre.”
“GMFRS will always attend in an emergency but for most businesses we will not respond to fire alarms between 08:00 – 17:00 unless it is confirmed there is a fire”
Please follow our social media pages throughout the week where we will be sharing advice and guidance on how to reduce the number of fire incidents and false alarms in your workplace.
11/09/2019 11:07 AM