Fire chiefs sound blaze safety warning to Banbury employers

Fire chiefs have sounded a safety warning for businesses.Fire chiefs have sounded a safety warning for businesses.
Fire chiefs have sounded a safety warning for businesses.
Employers in Banbury have been urged to ensure fire safety stays a top priority as firms make changes to protect staff from Covid-19.

The alarm has been sounded by Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Fire chiefs warn bosses to remember there are everyday fire risks in the workplace and that there is both a legal and moral responsibility to ensure premises are safe from fire.

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Rob MacDougall, Chief Fire Officer for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “It’s been a difficult and challenging time for so many people.

“We want to make sure that as businesses adapt in response to Covid-19, they remain fire safe.

He added: “Fire can have a devastating impact on business and with the current pressure on the economy, most will never recover after an incident.

“We want to support businesses if they need advice and guidance.

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“We asking all businesses to review their fire risk assessments and make sure they are working safety.

Mr MacDougall warned: “Many local businesses had to respond quickly to the pandemic. When they were allowed to reopen, while considering risk assessments, fire safety may not have been at the forefront of planning.”

Now as part of Business Safety Week – which runs until September 13 – Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging business owners and firms’ ‘responsible persons’ to ensure they review fire risk assessments.

They should also seek guidance and advice to help premises and occupants stay safe from fire.

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Businesses must consider the potential risks that Covid-19 secure measures - which are required to open some premises – might, in some cases, compromise fire safety measures. New screens must not obstruct smoke detection, business must have enough trained staff to support evacuation procedures, measures to support social distancing must not impact evacuation procedures or the ability of emergency service to help, measures should also protect from arson.

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