Urgent call to restaurant owners to review fire safety measures

Fire and Rescue Services stress the critical importance of fire safety for residents living above food outlets, highlighting the heightened risks associated with inadequate arrangements.

Restaurant owners and proprietors of food establishments are being strongly advised to reassess their fire safety protocols, particularly concerning premises where residents live above or below. Fire and Rescue Services have raised concerns regarding the heightened risks posed to individuals in such settings, emphasising the urgent need for comprehensive safety measures.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service have underscored the potential dangers inherent in buildings with upper or lower floors used for living accommodations, especially when accessed through a single unprotected staircase originating from public or kitchen areas.

A spokesperson from the service stated "Should a fire happen, these conditions greatly increase the risk of someone being injured or even killed.

"It is therefore important that you have the right fire safety arrangements to protect the lives of you, your family, employees and customers, but also your property and your business."

The Regulatory Reform Order 2005 mandates that business owners undertake fire risk assessments to mitigate fire hazards and ensure the safety of individuals utilizing the premises. Furthermore, the recent enactment of the Building Safety Act 2022 – Section 156, effective from 1st October, 2023, has introduced additional regulations pertinent to fire safety in businesses and buildings.

Key amendments under the Building Safety Act 2022 – Section 156 include:

  • Compulsory written fire risk assessments and implementation of fire safety measures, irrespective of the size or function of the business or premises.
  • Enhanced requirements for cooperation and coordination among stakeholders.
  • Provision of comprehensive information to residents regarding fire safety protocols.
  • Restaurant owners and stakeholders are strongly urged to adhere to these legislative requirements, proactively ensuring the safety and well-being of occupants and visitors. By prioritising fire safety, businesses can mitigate risks, safeguard lives, and protect vital assets.