ADT reminds industry to regularly review fire safety procedures

25 July 2013

​The recent fires at a factory site in Smethwick, in the West Midlands and at a hair products supply business in Manchester, serve as a stark reminder of how devastating a fire can be. With these tragic incidents in mind – ADT Fire & Security urges businesses to be prepared.

Sadly, the recent fire in Oldham Road, at a hair products supply business, resulted in the loss of life of one of the fire fighters called in to battle the blaze. The fire service reported that the fire had been particularly difficult to tackle due to the complex layout of the building and the amount of material inside.

The huge fire at Smethwick involved 100,000 tonnes of plastic recycling material and more than 200 firefighters attended the scene.

The fire is estimated to have caused £6 million in damages to the site and 13 firefighters had to be treated for a variety of minor injuries.

“Fire is a devastating event and can have tragic consequences. We would still urge all commercial businesses to review their fire safety precautions on a regular basis, as no matter how safe you think your property might be – freak accidents can still occur,” commented Ian Hodgson at ADT Fire & Security.

“Whilst appreciating the gravity of life safety as part of a business’ legal and moral obligation, According to the Federation of Small Businesses, 80% of businesses fail after a major incident (like a fire or flood which stops you doing business), therefore it is critical to incorporate fire strategy into Business Continuity plans.”

No matter what the cause of a blaze, taking as many precautions as possible will give the best possible chances of salvage. ADT offers this key advice to act as a reminder to commercial businesses. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is in place to protect you, your staff and your business. It states that the owner or occupier of a building has a legal duty to carry out a risk assessment and ensure people can safely escape if a fire were to occur. Potential fire hazards need to be identified and removed where possible and any remaining risks managed with a fire safety strategy.

The site should also have a suitable fire detection and warning system in place and the advisory engineering code of practice - BS5839-1, can be referred to as it identifies key features to consider to confirm a system provides the highest standards of protection.

Furthermore, it is worthwhile considering complementary products, which can enhance a robust fire safety approach – such as CCTV. This can help deter potential arsonists, as well as assist site staff in identifying any risks and then despite all precautions, should a fire occur, security systems and cameras can help pinpoint its source and location.

To ensure your business complies with the necessary fire regulations or for advice on improving fire safety procedures – contact your fire detection system supplier, local fire officer or building controller.

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