Advice from Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service on making your business safe this summer

Most businesses will be safe from a fire starting inside their premises, with smoke alarms, sprinklers, escape routes and emergency lighting all areas where the risk can be kept to a minimum.

But with a marked increase in grassland and wildfires across the county, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) is asking firms to consider the dangers of a fire starting from the outside.

GFRS has been called out to 132 fire-related incidents so far in August, of which 53 related to grassland. At the same period last year, between 1 and 10 August, there had been 25 fire-related incidents and six were callouts relating to grassland.

If your business backs onto grassland or an open space, a grass fire could potentially affect your building.

If this is something you have not considered before, GFRS is reminding businesses to consider the impact of a fire taking hold outside of your premises, as much as one starting inside, in your fire risk assessments.

Businesses are being asked to consider the following points of advice:

  • If you store combustible items outside ensure that they are secure and if possible during this hot spell keep them away from grassland
  • Empty your bins frequently, to reduce the build-up of combustible material
  • Ensure your site is secure during business hours and through the night
  • Consider increasing your security measures in this hot spell if your business backs onto or is near areas of grassland or forest
  • Ensure your Business Continuity Plan is up-to-date and test it regularly

Although this advice is for the current increased risk of grassland fires, it also helps in fire prevention against arson for the future, as a secure site with good fire safety is less of a target.

For more advice on wildfire safety please visit Wildfire Advice – Glosfire.

Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member with responsibility for the Fire and Rescue Service, said: “With the rising temperatures this week, businesses are facing a greater risk of fire than usual so we want to ensure they have taken all precautions possible to guard against this danger.

“I would strongly urge all businesses to follow the important advice given by Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service so they keep their premises safe.”

Ian Tonner, Area Manager Prevention and Protection for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Most businesses in the county have installed suitable fire safety measures inside their premises, but they may have overlooked the risk from the outside with the increase in grassland fires we are seeing at the moment.

“I would advise all businesses in the county to follow our tips by making sure bins are emptied regularly and any combustible items are kept away from adjoining grassland. It could make a big different to the safety of your building in the event of a fire starting nearby.”

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