Safest People, Safest Places

Fire service helps businesses to stay safe

uk business safety week 2016

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service has organised a week of activities to help build safer businesses in the region.

The events, which will run from Monday 5 September to Friday 9 September, are part of national Business Safety Week run by The Chief Fire Officers’ Association UK (CFOA).

The week has been scheduled to run at a time when many businesses will be recruiting additional members of seasonal staff in the run up to Christmas. These new recruits may not have the same level of safety awareness as permanent members of staff and may not be aware of the steps needed to protect themselves, their customers and colleagues.

It is also a good opportunity to remind employers of the need to review fire risk assessments and training and make sure existing staff know the importance of fire safety. Helping businesses manage their fire risks and potentially save lives and safeguard their businesses against financial and commercial loss is of key importance.

Fire can cause major disruption for businesses; there is a far greater chance of recovery if risks have been identified and appropriate arrangements have been put in place to prevent fires or mitigate their impact.

Steve Wharton, community safety group manager for CDDFRS, said: “This week is a great opportunity to engage with local businesses and remind owners and employees that the fire and rescue service is here to help make workplaces safe from fire. CDDFRS has one of the best records of business fire safety checks across the UK carrying out more 5,600 audits each year. During Business Safety Week we can use these good contacts and excellent relationships to remind busy business owners and staff of their obligations and provide them with practical advice about the best ways to safeguard people and property.”

From Monday 5 September free courses, presentations, advice and information sessions will run in conjunction with the CDDFRS community interest company on the following themes at the fire service’s new training centre in Bowburn, Durham and Spennymoor Fire Station:

Monday 5 Sept – Fire risk assessment awareness training

Free courses delivered by CDDFRS fire safety officers. Both courses will run at Spennymoor Fire Station, Green Lane Industrial Estate, Spennymoor. From 9am to 12 noon and again from 1pm to 5pm.

Tuesday 6 Sept – Employers’ legal rights and responsibilities

Advice about the law and creating a fire plan strategy.

Wednesday 7 Sept – False alarm reduction

Thursday 8 Sept – Workplace advice

Risk assessment reviews; understanding a fire plan and testing the fire plan.

Friday 9 Sept – Protecting businesses against deliberate fires

Information and presentations about arson reduction and the impacts on and disruption to businesses following a fire.

From 9am to 12 noon a free course covering fire safety equipment in the workplace will also run at the training centre in Bowburn, DH6 5AD. The course will help people who may need to use a portable fire extinguisher. Delegates will be provided with the skills to tackle a fire in its initial stages using the correct fire extinguisher.

To take part in any of the free courses, booking is essential. To find out more about these events and courses phone 0845 223 4221 or email

Information about keeping businesses safe is available via the CDDFRS website

Alternatively, follow County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service on Twitter @CDDFRS and Facebook.

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