BUSINESSES are being urged to put security measures in place as Bonfire Night fast approaches – bringing an increased risk of fire and anti-social behaviour.
Over £3million is estimated to be ‘going up in smoke’ each year due to the high number of deliberate fires and bonfires attended by Strathclyde Fire and Rescue.
Over the three-week bonfire period each year, Scottish Fire and Rescue services attend hundreds of additional emergency calls, to fires involving bonfire material, rubbish bins, refuse skips and unoccupied buildings, many of which spread to occupied houses and business properties.
The Scottish Business Crime Centre is prompting businesses of all sizes to review fire risk assessment and security policies to help reduce the possibility of accidental or deliberate fire-raising, which could threaten the health and safety of staff or financially cripple the business.
Station Commander Richard Norman, Fire & Rescue Business Liaison officer at SBCC, said: “This year the 5 November falls on a Monday so there is a higher risk of the associated antisocial behaviour over the weekend before, starting on Friday the 2nd and for the following week.
“Bonfire Night is a great opportunity for family and friends to get together and we want this to continue but, we needn’t compromise ours or the safety of others to enjoy ourselves.
“Fireworks are dangerous explosives which people can naively underestimate and there are unfortunately others who deliberately use this period as an excuse to create trouble for others.
“The implications of fireworks getting into the wrong hands could literally cost someone their business. Therefore, it is imperative that businesses of all sizes consider some simple steps to safeguard in the case of disorder.”
The Chief Fire Officers Association Scotland has worked alongside the SBCC to put together a series of guidelines for businesses which will dramatically reduce the chances of someone starting a fire deliberately.
Richard adds: “Although good physical security measures are important in protecting your business against thieves, vandals and fire-raisers there are a number of measures that you can put into place to reduce the risk of any fire occurring at all.
“Simple things like checking housekeeping routines, routinely reviewing the security of your entire site and most importantly, the night before bonfire night consider where you leave waste, waste bins and where cars are parked.”
The Scottish Business Crime Centre advises the following steps:
- Don’t block escape routes with rubbish containers
- Keep rubbish or rubbish containers away from the windows, doors or other openings to buildings which could spread fire
- Wheelie bins should be immobilised away from the building
- Keep rubbish or rubbish containers away from possible ignition sources eg electrical heaters, boiler flue pipes etc
- Prohibit smoking in or around storage and refuse areas
- Keep lids on bins where possible, empty refuse containers regularly and make sure they’re not overflowing
- Remove materials and skips from under canopies and keep lids in skips
- Don’t use plastic lids on skips
- Keep skips in caged or locked areas and make sure security staff have spare keys for Fire and Rescue Services access
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