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We at Humberside Fire & Rescue Service would like to wish businesses across our region a safe festive period.

As the festive season fast approaches, retail sector businesses will be gearing up for one of their busiest times of year. In order to ensure maximum sales, some retailers will fill every available space with stock. This can mean that escape routes and fire exits that normally are empty become a fire hazard.

At this time of year many businesses will be recruiting additional members of staff in the run up to Christmas. These new employees may not have the same level of fire safety awareness as permanent members of staff. They might not be aware of the vital steps needed to protect themselves, their customers and colleagues if a fire were to break out. Please take time to induct new and temporary employees to ensure they are aware of emergency procedures and know where the fire assembly points are located.

Please take time to ensure your business has a fire risk assessment, and the assessment encompasses the additional stock, employees and customers, if it does not please take time to review. It is essential that all safety signage and alarm call points remain visible to patrons of your business.

Most incidents at this time of the year within the retail sector originate from poor storage practice in conjunction with sources of heat such as gas or electric heaters, lighting and other heat generating equipment.

Below is our festive season check list:

  • Ensure escape routes are not blocked with extra stock
  • Make sure doors can be closed to stop fire spread
  • Ensure all alarm call points, signage and emergency lighting is visible
  • Be aware of storing combustible materials close to stock
  • Ensure packaging, cardboard and waste is not left in / around your premises and is stored securely in refuse containers
  • Ensure everyone knows what to do if a fire alarm sounds
  • On discovery of a fire; GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL 999

For FREE advice and information on how you can keep your business safe, click here or alternatively call 0300 303 8242