As more businesses prepare to reopen without restrictions and adopt hybrid working, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (HIWFRS) is highlighting the importance of updating risk assessments and checking over fire safety procedures.
Throughout the pandemic, many businesses have had to constantly adapt their premises for the safety of customers and employees, but this combined with staffing shortages and financial struggles means that fire safety may have been overlooked.
HIWFRS has continued to offer guidance and support throughout the pandemic and over the past year the Service’s Protection team has supported nearly 4,000 businesses through a combination of formal inspections and other educational initiatives such as free webinars on the topic of business fire safety.
Station Manager for Protection at HIWFRS, Graham Orchard said:
“Fire can have a devastating impact on business so it’s vital that risk assessments are regularly reviewed and updated to increase fire safety.
“We realise this has been an extremely difficult year for businesses across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and we want businesses to know that we are here to support them and offer advice and guidance.”
Next week is National Fire Chiefs Council Business Safety Week (6-12 September) which is held annually to encourage businesses across the UK to make sure fire safety remains a top priority.
Mark Andrews. NFCC’s Business Engagement Lead said:
“Fire services are committed to helping businesses get back to work so they can continue to make their valued contribution to the economy and local communities.
“It has been such a challenging time, but fire can have a devastating impact on a business with many never recovering. But fire services are able to provide help and guidance to reduce this fire risk and NFCC encourage them to get in touch with their local fire service for advice.”
HIWFRS are running the following free webinars throughout Business Safety Week.
Tuesday 7th September and Wednesday 8th September 10:30-12:30 – Residential Care Fire Safety Webinar (offering specific advice for residential care settings) – HIWFRS Station Manager Protection Graham Orchard
Each session will include guidance on:
- moral and legal obligations in the workplace
- what to expect from a Fire Safety Inspector visit
- common shortfalls experienced during an inspection
- protecting business and staff to ensure business continuity