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Daily Insurance Industry News
Sunday 21st of January 2018
November 9, 2007

Firms urged to assess fire risks thoroughly

by Richard Kilner

Story link: Firms urged to assess fire risks thoroughly

Marsh has issued a reminder to UK businesses, urging them to be aware of the risks of fire and the safety measures required to protect against it.

The statement comes in the wake of a huge fire at a vegetable plant warehouse in Warwickshire.

Marsh recommends a range of measures to help protect against the risks of fire, including:

1) Identify all fire hazards, including any specific issues relevent to the business, arson, electrical problems and individuals.

2) Identify people who may be at risk, such as employees, visitors (both authorised and unauthorised), individuals who work/live in the immediate vicinity of the business, and firefighters.

3) Assess the situation, and reduce dangers where necessary, eliminating them if practical. Put into place sufficient measures to counter any remaining risks, most obviously fire alarms, extinguishers and sprinklers.

4) Train employees so they know what to do in any given situation, record the training and formulate adequate contingency plans.

5) Review the measures in place at least annually, or more often.

Hugh Forster is a managing consultant with Marsh, and reminded employers that they have a moral duty to protect those who work for them from fire, as well as anyone else who could be affected by a conflagration in the business.

Those who do not provide proper planning and measures in the event of fire will contravene either the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RR(FS)O) in England and Wales or the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.

Fire brigades are proactively ensuring that all businesses conform to the above Acts, and have substantial punitive authority to assist them in doing so. In October a large retail chain received a fine of £250,000 for failing to conform with the law.

Should a business lacking the proper fire safety measures and plans experience a fire the poor preparation could lead to a prosecution.

 

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