Marsh issues advice

Companies need to take extra precautions to protect their businesses during planned industrial action by the UK’s Fire Brigade Union (FBU) warned Marsh.

The strikes, scheduled to take place on November 5 to November 7, represent a potentially serious threat to organisations, meaning they may not be able to control a fire on their premises.

“Although emergency cover could be provided, it may be slower and less effective,” said Marsh.

Marsh advised companies to take preventative measures to reduce the effect of the strike:

• Ensure that all business continuity plans are up-to-date.

• Do not leave electrical equipment on during non-working periods, as this is the second most common cause of fire in the UK after arson

• Ensure sprinkler system and water supply tests and checks are carried out as usual.

• Check all fire extinguishers to ensure that they are in position and serviced.

• Check that all automatic and manual fire alarm / detection systems are operational.

• Be extra vigilant against the threat of arson by ensuring a minimum of external combustible storage and by moving waste bins away from buildings; potential arsonists will be aware of the strike.

• Ensure that intruder alarms are fully operational.

• Consider additional security patrols, especially out of working hours and in unattended areas.

• Check site perimeter security, remedying any deficiencies including CCTV systems.

• In the event of a fire alarm call 999 immediately, unless alternative arrangements are advised by the emergency services.

• Fire evacuation procedures should be tested, covering all shifts and checking to ensure that all staff know how to raise the alarm in the event of a fire.

• Be prepared to take control and guide Army fire fighters, through positive liaison with the officer in charge, to ensure devotion of priorities to main hazards and prevention of collateral damage to reflect business protection priorities (e.g. data processing centres, critical plant and key utilities