Fire safety warning ahead of strike action

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Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) is urging business across Derbyshire to stay focused on the safety of their staff and premises during the hectic festive season.

The warning comes as more industrial action is planned for New Year’s Eve and on Friday (3rd January) over a pension dispute between firefighters and the government.

Firefighters will walk out on New Year’s Eve at 6.30pm until 12.30am on New Year’s Day and on Friday between 6.30-8.30am.

Area Manager Gavin Tomlinson said: “Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are traditionally a time when more people are out and about enjoying themselves whether it is in restaurants, cinemas, nightclubs or other entertainment venues.

“I would urge all business owners and managers to ensure the safety of their staff and customers is of paramount importance during the industrial action and do everything in their power on the run up to this period, to mitigate the risk of any incidents from occurring.”

A Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service spokesman said: “While DFRS will still be providing an emergency response service during this period of industrial action, it is important to note that this will be at a reduced level. It is therefore essential that businesses follow our top tips on fire safety.” They are as follows:

Review your risk assessment and emergency plan - make sure it is up to date.

Make sure your fire detection system is working effectively and everyone in the building understands what they need to do should it activate.

Practise your emergency evacuation plan to ensure your staff and visitors can escape quickly and easily - don’t forget that people with disabilities may need extra help.

Ensure fire wardens are trained and their training is up to date.

If you have a fire, evacuate the building and call 999 - you will get a response.

Reduce fire hazards - keep sources of ignition well away from flammable materials or substances.

Ask staff to be vigilant to the risk of fire and report any concerns.

Keep escape routes free from obstacles and check signage and emergency lighting.

Keep fire doors shut - they should always be shut anyway.

Switch off electrical equipment when not in use.

Make sure any fire fighting equipment you have works and that everyone expected to use it knows how to do so safely.

Reduce the risk of arson - minimise the build-up of rubbish and store it in a safe place. Keep your building secure.

Take special care to minimise the possibility of a false alarm.

Further advice and information can be accessed via where employers will not only find a wealth of business fire safety advice, but also advice on keeping safe at home and on our roads.

DFRS requests the assistance of business leaders to encourage their workforce to access this important information to help safeguard their colleagues, friends and families.