Page 13 - HOT NEWS OCT 2015
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Area Manager Billy Myers, the Deputy Chair of CFOA Business Safety Group, speaking at the conference.
“We know that for some the language we use is a barrier and as such the way we communicate is key, and we explored this and other concerns over the course of the day, in order to enhance our offer of support and in doing so improve business safety.”
Mehrban Sadiq, AFSA Chairperson, said: “The Asian Fire Service Association (AFSA) has consistently encouraged the fire service to communicate and work with business owners from diverse communities within the lens of prevention and protection in contrast to the possible over reliance on sanctions, penalties and, in some cases, closure of businesses.
“This requires a consistent focus on both behaviour and trust building through appropriate communication formats to help ensure appropriate advice, guidance and support is provided.
“It is also vitally important that fire and rescue services make every effort to employ, develop and support a wide range of high quality employees who have the skills and mind sets to work closely with owners of businesses from diverse communities to help drive business community standards.”
Area Manager Billy Myers, the Deputy Chair of the CFOA Business Safety Group, who also made a presentation at the conference, said: “Our vision is to achieve a safer business sector where there are no preventable deaths or injuries in fires, where fire losses are reduced to minimal levels, and businesses receive consistent and common advice, information and enforcement practices.
“In a growing economy, we have a duty to support businesses and offer an equality of service not only to ensure that staff, visitors, and customers are safe, but also to ensure the business itself is kept at minimal risk from fire.”
The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) is a charity managed for fire professionals by fire professionals with the aim of promoting, encouraging and improving the science, practice and professionalism of fire engineering.
The conference was held on September 17.
Advice During Safety Week
Businesses in Merseyside were urged to check their risk assessments and consider how the build-up of stock and more customers can have an impact on their sites.
The advice was issued as part of the Chief Fire Officers Association's (CFOA's) UK Business Safety Week, in September and this year’s message was “Keep it SIMPLE and Safe.”
Figures show that from the beginning of January 2013 to the end of August 2015, firefighters attended 963 fires in business premises in Merseyside.
Fire risks in business organisations may change at this time of year particularly with the potential for more staff, more stock and more customers.
Fire protection officers and firefighters identified business locations to visit as part of work for Business Safety Week and carried out Operational Fire Safety Audits.
Two presentations were also delivered as part of Business Watch events, in partnership with Knowsley Chamber of Commerce, in two locations in Knowsley in September. Businesses received advice to help reduce the risk of fires and
limit fire damage and support business continuity.
Around 200 businesses were visited in Knowsley to highlight the two free events.
Group Manager Guy Keen, who leads the Fire Protection department at MF&RS, said: “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.
"Also, we have seen many fires in Merseyside where fitted sprinklers have prevented the fire from spreading, limiting damage to owners and business, allowing faster business recovery from potentially devastating fires and ultimately saving both lives and livelihoods.”
CFOA President Peter Dartford said: "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.”
The conference in Aintree. Photo by Guy Keen.

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