On Friday 13 and Saturday 14 December between 6pm and 10pm, Fire Brigade’s Union members will strike for a third time in a dispute with government over pensions.
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service will be providing a reduced emergency response service during the periods of strike action but the Service is asking for help from local businesses.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dene Sanders, said: “During the industrial action we will still be responding to 999 calls, but we are asking local businesses to take extra steps to reduce the risk of fire.
“It is imperative that businesses ensure their fire risk assessments are up to date and that safety arrangements are robust enough to ensure, in the event of a fire, everyone can escape the building quickly and easily,” Dene added.
Businesses have a legal requirement for the person responsible to have a fire risk assessment and to review it if any risks in the building change.
With reduced fire cover, adopting fire safe behaviour becomes increasingly important.
At this time of year many businesses may have decorated their premises with Christmas decorations and lights. These can pose an additional fire hazard and steps should be taken to ensure that they are used safely.
Dene said: “Any decorative lights should have a British Safety Standard sign on them and they shouldn’t be left on overnight when the business is closed and the premises are unoccupied. Electrical sockets should not be overloaded and decorations shouldn’t be attached to light fittings or heaters.”
Top tips for businesses:
Review your risk assessment and emergency plan – make sure it’s up to date.
Make sure your fire detection systems are maintained and working effectively and everyone in the building(s) understands what they need to do should it activate.
Practise your emergency evacuation plan to ensure your staff and visitors can escape quickly and easily – don’t forget that people with disabilities may need extra help.
Ensure fire wardens are trained and their training is up to date.
Reduce fire hazards – keep sources of ignition well away from flammable materials or substances.
Ask staff to be vigilant to the risk of fire and report any concerns.
Keep escape routes free from obstacles and check signage and emergency lighting.
Keep fire doors shut (they should always be shut anyway).
Switch off electrical equipment when not in use.
Make sure any fire fighting equipment you have works and that everyone expected to use it knows how to do so safely.
Reduce the risk of arson – minimise the build-up of rubbish and store it in a safe place. Keep your building secure.
Take special care to avoid the possibility of a false alarm.
If you have a fire, evacuate the building and call ‘999’.
For more fire safety advice and tips on how to protect your business from fire visit www.humbersidefire.gov.uk, follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/humbersidefireandrescue) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/humbersidefire) or visit www.gov.uk/firekills.