01 May 2014

Northamptonshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service is advising businesses to check their fire safety procedures are up to date.

The advice comes following the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) announcement that they intend to take further industrial action as a result of the on-going national dispute with the government.

Dates for industrial action

  • Friday 2 May 2014 - 12pm to 5pm
  • Saturday 3 May 2014 - 2pm to 2am on the 4th of May
  • Sunday 4 May 2014 - 10am to 3pm

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service has contingency plans in place to ensure disruption to kept to a minimum. Planning has been underway for several months, both within the service and in partnership with neighbouring authorities, to ensure it can continue to respond to emergencies during this time. Not all Firefighters in Northamptonshire will be taking strike action.

Businesses should ensure they are prepared in the event of a fire or similar emergency incident by following a few simple steps:

  1. Review your Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) to make sure it’s up to date and incorporates all the fire risks within your premises.
  2. Make sure your staff training is up to date including their use of fire extinguishers.
  3. Make sure your fire alarm and emergency lighting are in good working order.
  4. Make sure all staff are trained in emergency procedures and carry out a fire drill to remind staff of procedures and practice your evacuation procedures.
  5. Carry out a hazard spotting assessment inside and outside of any business premises, and remove or reduce as much as possible any possible sources of ignition.
  6. Reduce the amount of flammable materials stored or used in the premises and make sure what is left is stored in a lockable fire resisting store.
  7. Ensure all necessary contact numbers are up to date and available for staff working evenings or over the weekend.

Head of Prevention and Community Protection, Area Manager Mark Ainge said: “By being properly prepared for an emergency, businesses can assist the Fire and Rescue Service and both minimise any disruption and make sure they get back up and running as quickly as possible.” This advice is particularly important in light of the announced industrial action planned for the coming weekend as it is a bank holiday.

“We have contingency plans in place and will be continuing to respond to emergencies, but this is a testing time for fire and rescue services across the country, so anything that communities and businesses can do to help protect themselves and reduce the risk of fire is very helpful”

“Resources may be stretched so we would also like to remind people that it is important to only call 999 in an emergency.”

For more advice about fire safety for businesses, people can visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/fire

They can also follow the Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service Twitter account and Like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/northantsfire.