Cleveland Fire Brigade offering ‘Simple’ fire safety messages to businesses

Cleveland Fire Brigade will be offering businesses in Teesside ‘simple’ safety messages to be shared with their staff during the Chief Fire Officers Association’s (CFOA’s) UK Business Safety Week, taking place from 7 to 13 September 2015.

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 the Christmas period. These new recruits may not have the same level of fire safety awareness as permanent members of staff, and may not be aware of the steps needed to protect themselves, their customers and colleagues. It’s also a good opportunity to remind existing staff of the importance of fire safety.

This year’s message for businesses is ‘Keep it SIMPLE and Safe’ and offers the following SIMPLE reminders:
• Store stock safely: keep corridors, stairs and exits clear
• Identify alarm points so you can warn others
• Make sure doors are closed to stop fires from spreading
• Place things that catch fire away from things that cause fire
• Let someone know if you spot fire safety problems
• Ensure everyone knows what to do if a fire alarm sounds

Helping businesses to manage their fire risks and hazards, and potentially to save lives and safeguard their businesses against financial and commercial loss is of key importance, particularly in these competitive times when growth and sustainability are a priority.

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 starting, or to mitigate their impact.

Statistics show that in 2013/14 alone, there were 2,139 fires in industrial premises, 5,561 fires in commercial/retail, and 1,898 fires in schools, higher/further education and health/hospital premises.

Throughout the week Cleveland Fire Brigade will join other fire and rescue services across the country to hold a range of events and activities to engage with businesses in their communities, working with them to help improve their knowledge of fire safety.

In Teesside, businesses will be visited by the Brigade who will offer fire safety advice, help identify appropriate training courses or suggest a fire safety audit is undertaken. The brigade can also take enforcement action where appropriate.

Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection at Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “We would encourage all businesses to ensure their staff are fully aware of potential fire risks and hazards, and know what to do in an emergency.

“Fires can devastate businesses resulting in long-term consequences for employers and employees but there are simple measures that can be taken to prevent fires occurring.”

Peter Dartford, CFOA President, added: “UK Business Safety Week’s message may be a SIMPLE one, but it’s essential that businesses consider fire risks in their organisations, and make sure that their employees are aware of the causes and consequences of fire.

“Fire services work closely with businesses, helping them to effectively manage their fire risks, safeguarding their staff, premises, stock – and potentially their livelihood. Keep it simple and keep your business safe.”

Notes to editors:

About CFOA

1. The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) is a professional membership association and a registered charity. CFOA members are drawn from all UK Fire & Rescue Services (FRSs) representing the senior executives and managers of the Service. Through the work of its members the Association supports the Fire and Rescue Services of the UK in its aspiration to protect the communities they serve and to continue to improve the overall performance of the fire sector. CFOA provides professional and technical advice to inform national fire policy.

2. Visit the UK Business Safety Week website at:

3. You can visit our website at to view more safety advice as well as our news and details of events happening throughout the Brigade. You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter.