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Council offers fire safety advice to takeaways and restaurants

Oxfordshire County Council is offering free fire safety advice to local restaurants and takeaways ahead of the Christmas period.

The advice is part of a campaign aimed at reducing the number of fire incidents and false alarms in the workplace, both of which impact on business safety and productivity.

Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service will be encouraging operators to ensure they have taken the steps required by law to protect their premises and employees from fire.

They will also be giving advice on preventing arson attacks and reducing false alarms and, where needed, giving guidance for premises with sleeping accommodation adjacent or above, where the means of escape passes though the commercial part of the building.

Christmas has been identified as a busy time for takeaways and restaurants and therefore businesses are being encouraged to take the opportunity now to review risk assessments and escape plans in preparation for increasing custom.

Statistics show that in 2017-18 there were 162 fires in Oxfordshire businesses with about 14% being deliberately set.

County councillor Judith Heathcoat, cabinet member for community safety, said: “About one third of fires in the workplace are due to electrical faults and misuse of electrical equipment. Most of these fires are likely to be preventable. By taking some simple measures, businesses can learn about how to make their premises and staff safer from fire by visiting our business fire safety web pages, which gives practical advice.

“We know that many small businesses never recover from the damage caused by fire, so it is really important to factor in fire safety.

“Shortcutting fire safety guidelines can have a devastating impact. Imagine a blaze that results in death or injury. The guilt. The risk of prosecution. A criminal record. And the lasting damage to your business and reputation.”

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