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7 in 10 businesses in Lancashire FAIL fire safety audits

Seven in ten Lancashire firms fail fire safety audits
24 Oct 2012

Companies in Lancashire are being reminded about the importance of fire safety after it was revealed that the majority of the county's organisations have failed safety audits.

According to the Lancashire Telegraph, a report by independent fire expert Safety Management shows that only 1,089 businesses out of 3,636 audited by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service last year passed the checks.

Among the 70 per cent of companies that failed, a total of 376 enforcement notices were handed out, detailing their non-compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

This order applies to virtually all commercial premises and public buildings, including offices and shops, care homes and hospitals, community halls, pubs and restaurants, schools and sports centres, hotels and factories as well as the shared areas of properties in which several households live.

Under the legislation, building owners are required to carry out a fire risk assessment to identify possible dangers, eliminate or minimise the risk from fire as far as reasonably possible and create a plan to deal with any fire-related emergencies.

Safety Management said that although its figures relate to businesses in Lancashire only, it believes the results are indicative of the situation across the rest of the UK.

Managing director Brian Gregory told the Lancashire Telegraph: "This figure suggests that businesses are gambling with their future. Small businesses are feeling the pressure of the recession and are looking to save money, but putting fire safety to the bottom of their priorities is a false economy."

He added: "Often, business owners and managers feel that by having fire extinguishers in place and a fire detection system in their building means they are covered.

"But critically, unless the assessment is completed by a competent person, there is no guarantee that the fire detection is the right system for the building."

Responding to the research, Dave Russel, assistant chief fire officer at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said his authority will not hesitate to take legal action against those businesses that fail to comply with the law.

Posted by Charlotte Wilson

Date Published: 31/10/2012
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