A local council is offering free fire advice to fast food restaurants and takeaways as part of a campaign to improve safety in the run-up to Christmas.
Oxfordshire County Council’s campaign aims to provide those with responsibility for businesses and public buildings with information and advice to reduce the number of fire incidents and false alarms in the workplace.
It will be paying particular attention to providing education to the operators of restaurants and takeaways given that more than 30% of non-residential fires are caused by electrical faults and the misuse of equipment.
Where needed it will give guidance for premises with sleeping accommodation adjacent or above, where the means of escape passes though the commercial part of the building.
Dave Bray, fire protection and business safety manager at Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service, said: “If a business on the ground floor has bedrooms on the upper floors, and the staircase descends to ground floor where it discharges through the takeaway or restaurant, a fire on the ground floor could trap people in the bedrooms above.
“Another concern is that staff may be sleeping within the commercial area after the premises are closed for business, which could place them at risk.”
County councillor Judith Heathcoat, cabinet member for community safety, said: “About one third of fires in the workplace are due to electrical faults and misuse of electrical equipment. Most of these fires are likely to be preventable. By taking some simple measures, businesses can learn about how to make their premises and staff safer from fire by visiting our business fire safety web pages, which gives practical advice.
“We know that many small businesses never recover from the damage caused by fire, so it is really important to factor in fire safety.”