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How to reduce deliberate fires

Did you know 86% of businesses that have a fire never recover from it and arson is the most common cause of fires in retail premises? Most arson attacks are unplanned and opportunist crimes, follow our advice to help protect your business.

How to reduce deliberate fires

Good housekeeping:

  • Waste is a potential fuel source for fire, ensure that waste management is covered in your Fire Risk Assessment
  • Waste should be in a secure area, away from buildings, not accessible through perimeter fencing
  • Skips, recycling containers and bins should be kept away from building eaves or canopies
  • Entrances and exits should be clear at all times
  • Keep external areas clear and tidy so intruders are visible and there is less to interest opportunists
  • Plan ahead for busy periods when you have more stock or waste materials

Protect your premises:

  • Make perimeters secure and consider installing security lighting and CCTV (to support a prosecution needs to be 4 megapixels and 1080p res)
  • Consider installing anti-arson letterboxes on entry doors
  • Have a clear signing in and out procedure for staff and visitors
  • Report vandalism and anti-social behaviour - they may lead to fire-setting
  • Remember to change codes regularly especially when staff leave the organisation

Involve and inform staff:

  • Staff are your biggest asset and a vigilant workforce can protect your business
  • Have a clear process for opening and closing premises to ensure the site is secure
  • Ensure staff know about fire prevention and have a process to report concerns

If you own, manage or operate a business you have a legal duty to ensure you and your staff know what to do to prevent a fire in the workplace and how to escape if fire does break out:

  • All businesses need a competent person to undertake a fire risk assessment which will then inform them of what they need to do next
  • Properly manage ignition sources and combustibles - ‘No fuel - No fire.’
  • Train your staff, make sure they understand how to evacuate the building and how to raise the alarm
  • Put appropriate arrangements in place to maintain and manage things like emergency lighting systems or ventilation - they are all there to help people to escape a building
  • Think about business continuity - consider storing data offsite and have suppression systems to protect premises (sprinklers etc)