Arson Reduction & Businesses

Sadly, research into the impact of arson on shops, businesses and retail outlets shows that 85% of those businesses that were victims of arson and deliberately set fire never recover. As an example, the economic loss due to arson and deliberate fire to the UK in 2017/18 was £5.73 billion.
But with some simple, inexpensive prevention methods, (and a little creative thought), you can protect your business from arson and deliberately set fires.

Burnt waste on a street

1. Security is Fire Safety:

•    Fencing around your premises should be at least two metres tall.
•    Keep access gates locked unless in use. 
•    Ensure that any gaps, holes in your fencing around your business site are repaired. 
•    Leave at least a 1.2m gap between any flammable materials and your perimeter fence.
•    Keep flammable materials away from your buildings, (central to a stockyard area is best). 
•    Locate skips and bins away from main building and in clear site, consider installing inexpensive Wi-Fi linked CCTV.
•    Empty skips and bins regularly. Use lockable skips where possible.
•    Keep bushes and trees regularly trimmed to improve visibility. Don’t allow tree limbs to overhang your perimeter fencing.
•    Have a ‘Close down’ routine at the end of the day to check security and skips, bins, and flammable stock. 
•    Conduct a Fire Safety & Arson Inspection, (‘Walkaround Wednesday’) once a week to maintain the site security and safety.

2. Business Fire Safety, (and the Law):

Owners and managers of businesses, shops and food outlets need to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

As the responsible person, you must:

•    Carry out a fire risk assessment of your premises, review it regularly and ensure that it is held on the premises and is always available for inspection.
•    Brief staff about any risks that are identified and create a plan.
•    Put the plan in place and maintain appropriate fire safety measures.
•    Create an emergency plan, document it, practice it and review it.
•    Provide staff with information, training, and post clear instructions.

Discarded waste on a street corner outside shutters

3. Waste Materials Management:

•    Designate key staff to be responsible for key areas of your business that produce flammable waste, (i.e., packaging). Ensure waste materials are reduced in mass, size and mix of materials. 
•    Hold regular waste management meetings to discuss packaging reduction, recycling or reuse options to minimise the build up of stored waste on site.

•    Make it Thin to Fit the Bin. Always flatten-out boxes so they have less surface area. Place the flattened boxes to make a stack of cardboard, then tape or tie the boxes together.

Waste materials on the ground, next to an overflowing large outdoor bin