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29 October 2013

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is urging businesses to take steps to reduce the risk of fire prior to Saturday’s second period of strike action.

On Friday 1 November between 18.30hrs and 23.00hrs and Monday 4 November between 06:00 and 08:00 Fire Brigade’s Union members will strike for a second time in a dispute with Government over pensions.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service will be providing a reduced emergency response service during the period of strike action but the Service is asking for help from local businesses.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer and Director of Safety at Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, Chris Blacksell, said: “While the industrial action is on-going 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,” ACO Blacksell 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.

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’.