Fire can be devastating, causing damage and destruction to your property and to your business. Having seen many businesses destroyed by fires, we, at The Mutual would urge retailers to take a look at their own premises and see what steps can be taken to prevent such a disaster happening.

Fuse Boxes: How long has your consumer unit been at the property? Has it been checked and maintained regularly? We have had recent claims arising from these overheating and causing fire, sometimes with dramatic results, such as a total loss of the building.

Rubbish/Waste: How often do you remove combustible waste from your premises? A discarded cigarette into a bin of toilet rolls ignited and caused a total loss to business and significant loss of household contents.

Electrical Equipment: Electrical fires are all too common unfortunately. Faulty equipment such as freezers, fridges, overloading of plugs and multi-gang adaptors can all result in fires.

Arson: Acts of arson are random and little can be done to prevent these.

Here are some top tips to follow to keep your premises safe:

  1. Look at your PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) routine – make sure this is up to date and documented
  2. Ensure you have a working and regularly maintained fire detection and warning system
  3. Make sure you have fire extinguishing equipment in the event of a small fire
  4. Invest in smoke alarms next to your consumer units or look at updating the unit
  5. Keep your housekeeping up to date – remove combustible waste away from the premises
  6. Review your safe smoking policy with staff
  7. Organise your stock and waste away from stairways and doors to make sure a safe evacuation route is possible
  8. Be aware of events in the local area and keep the outside of your premises well lit to deter potential arsonists
  9. Keep up to date risk assessments
  10. Ensure staff are given clear instructions on fire safety and training

For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/workplace-fire-safety-your-responsibilities