New interactive tool to help West Sussex businesses stay safe from fire

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has launched a free interactive Business Fire Safety Awareness Tool to help business owners understand their legal duties when keeping workplaces safe from fire.

The service’s Fire Safety Team will also be on hand throughout Business Safety Week to give free, tailored advice for local proprietors looking to reduce the risk of fire in their premises.

A mixture of face-to-face and online events will be held. The dates and times are as follows:

Drop in session at Edes House, West Street, Chichester: Tuesday 6 September, 11am – 3pm
Drop in session at Rooms, First Floor, Guildbourne Centre, Worthing: Thursday 8 September, 10am – 4pm
Online event for managing agents and building owners of multi-occupied residential buildings: Wednesday 7 September, 1pm – 2pm.

Last year the service attended 149 fires at non-domestic properties, with most of the fires taking place at commercial premises. However, implementing and maintaining fire risk assessments is essential to reducing the risk of a fire in your place of work.

For many business owners, fire safety laws can seem daunting, and it can be difficult to know how to comply with legislation. Therefore, the Business Fire Safety Awareness Tool has been designed to provide a fun and interactive experience whilst guiding users through the responsibilities of following a fire risk assessment.

Station Manager for Fire Safety, Abigail Link, said: “Every fire we attend is devastating, but seeing someone’s business and everything they have worked hard for being destroyed by fire is particularly upsetting.

“Many businesses never recover after experiencing a fire, but simple measures can be implemented to prevent an incident from occurring in the first place – such as creating risk assessments and ensuring staff know how to respond in a fire situation.

“We’re really looking forward to speaking with local business owners and supporting them on their journeys to become fire safety compliant. We are in no way here to judge; we just want to help local businesses thrive.”

Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Mark Andrews added: “I am delighted that the Business Fire Safety Awareness Tool has now launched. The tool was developed as a collaborative partnership between West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, the National Fire Chiefs Council, Eyecademy, 925 Studios and Northampton University, following investment from the Regulator’s Pioneer Fund.

“Protecting businesses is a key priority for us here at West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service and I am incredibly optimistic that this collaboration will make a significant difference to those that live, work and visit West Sussex.

“I would really encourage those with fire safety responsibilities to explore the Business Fire Safety Awareness Tool and have an informal chat with our Fire Safety Team who can provide help and advice.”