Police campaign against drivers mobile use

This week police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will begin a fresh operational push against mobile phone use by drivers.

The campaign runs from today (Monday 23 January – Sunday 29 January).CFOA and many fire and rescue services will be supporting this campaign. Fire services respond to thousands of road traffic accidents every year and hope this campaign will encourage people to change their behaviour and prevent many of these incidents happening in the future.

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Cheshire Fire and Rescue service responding to one of the hundreds of road accidents that occur in their area

This latest campaign follows an earlier one in November 2016 in which 36 police forces took part.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) have today announced that in that week long campaign in November 10,012 vehicles were stopped. This resulted in 7,800 fixed penalty notices, 689 court summons and hundreds of verbal warnings. 117 other driving distraction offences such as eating while driving were also identified.

Throughout this campaign week police forces will run targeted operations and education campaigns.

Operations include:

 targeted patrols using unmarked vans, high vantage points and helmet cams to catch offenders;

 partnership with local authorities and emergency services to deter people from taking the risks;

 innovative digital campaigns to communicate that the risks are more serious than people think;

  Community ‘spotters’ to highlight hotspots and report repeat offenders to police

  Advising the public about changes to penalties for mobile phone use by driving from 1 March 2017

 

Recent studies show the use of mobile phones when driving is widespread and the risks drastically underestimated.

Chief constable Suzette Davenport, the NPCC’s lead for roads policing said: “This week forces will be working to make driving distracted as socially unacceptable as drink driving through enforcing strong deterrents and powerful messages to make people think twice about their driving habits.

“Encouraging results from last year’s campaign against mobile phone use show how effective new tactics and innovative approaches can be. Officers will continue to use intelligence-led tactics to target police activity and resources and catch repeat offenders.

“Forces will be working throughout the year to tackle this behaviour by motorists with national partners and the public.

At the moment drivers in England, Scotland and Wales risk three penalty point and a £100 fine is caught using a phone behind the wheel. But this is due to increase to six penalty points and £200 fine later in 2017. Additionally newly qualified drivers could be made to resit their driving test and experienced drivers could go to court if they offend twice, which could result in £1000 fine and a six-month driving ban.

Look out for the following hashtags on social media to support this campaign #ItCanWait and #EyesOnTheRoad

Parliament talks drowning prevention

A one-off oral evidence session was held in Parliament by the Transport Committee on 5 December 2016. The sessions aim was to scrutinise the structure and coordination of organisations that work to prevent and respond to emergency incidents around the coastline.

It also asked questions around the issues of beach safety, and the responsibilities of beach owners and managers in ensuring the safety of the public in the light of a spate of tragic accidents at a number of locations in summer 2016.

The Chief Fire Officers Association’s Water Lead, Dawn Whittaker, was one of those invited to give evidence.

It was an excellent opportunity for CFOA and members of the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) to highlight the collaborative work that is undertaken to prevent drowning and also to raise awareness with politicians of the UK National Drowning Prevention Strategy. The strategy was launched in February 2016 and has an overarching aim of achieving a 50% reduction in accidental drownings in the UK by 2026. In real terms this means reducing the number of accidental drownings from approximately 400 per annum to 200.
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The session also highlighted wider issues relating to drowning including the significant issue of drowning on inland waterways which accounts for around two thirds of fatalities. Furthermore, the impact of non – fatal drowning events are significant and as Dawn Whittaker mentioned these lead to serious and life changing injuries for up to eight times as many people as fatal drowning events.

NWSF members also met last week with the Local Government Association (LGA). They are the supporting association for politicians working in local government. Again this is a crucial link to develop in order to help raise awareness of the drowning issue amongst local councils.

It is hoped that by speaking to the LGA and raising awareness, local councils will be encouraged to take positive action to help prevent drownings as part of their duty of care. Councils would be encouraged to undertake risk assessments. Data which is collated and held on the WAter Incident Database (WAID) and the expertise of the NWSF can be drawn upon and be used to inform communities of their local level risk.

A meeting with Transport Minister, the Rt. Hon John Hayes CBE, also ensured that Ministerial support for the Drowning Prevention Strategy would continue and would he would further engage with other ministers to widen that support.

Of course underpinning this awareness is a real need for education around water safety. Beckie Ramsay campaigns for drowning prevention as part of the Doing it for Dylan campaign which she set up after the loss of her son in 2011. Beckie also works as a volunteer safety advocate for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and has supported many other fire and rescue services with local campaigns and events. She welcomed the parliamentary session and was able to submit some written evidence, this is important as we must not forget these are not just numbers – they are people. If we educate children now and in the future, as we do with regard to road and fire safety this may be an important step in reducing the number of drownings. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/168941

Take Brake’s Pledge and Make Roads Safer

This week is Road Safety Week (21-27 November) and CFOA, along with fire and rescue services throughout the UK, will be supporting the key messages of this campaign in order to help prevent road deaths and injuries.

The week was introduced in 1997 and is coordinated by Brake and is the UK’s biggest road safety event. It exists to help stop the five deaths and 62 serious injuries that happen everyday on UK roads.

It’s a simple ask – change our driving behaviour and help to make UK roads safer. Sign up and share Brake’s Pledge online.

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Brake have outlined the six elements of the Brake Pledge for Road Safety Week 2016  which are are Slow, Sober, Secure, Silent, Sharp and Sustainable.

  • Slow:Breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for the conditions is recorded by police at crash scenes as a contributory factor in more than one in four (27%) fatal crashes in Great Britain [1].
  • Sober:Having even one drink before getting behind the wheel can affect your ability to drive. In 2013 one in 10 (11%) drivers/motorcycle riders killed in a crash had alcohol present in their body, even though they weren’t over the legal blood-alcohol limit [2]. One in seven road deaths are at the hands of someone who has driven while over the limit [3].
  • Secure:Seat belts are still seen as an inconvenience by some drivers, yet using one reduces the chance of dying in a crash by 50% [4]. 21% of car occupants killed in crashes were not wearing a seat belt [5].
  • Silent:Drivers who perform a complex secondary task, like using a mobile, while at the wheel are three times more likely to crash than non-distracted drivers [6].
  • Sharp:Booking in for a regular eye test should be at the top of any driver’s to-do list. Road crashes caused by poor driver vision are estimated to cause 2,900 casualties and cost £33 million in the UK per year [7].
  • Sustainable:By minimising the amount we drive, and walking, cycling or using public transport instead, we are making our communities safer places, and doing the best we can for the environment and our individual health. Air pollution is a major killer: there are an estimated 29,000 deaths per year from particulate matter pollution in the UK [8], 5,000 of which are attributable to road transport [9].

Look out for events and activities for National Road Safety Week from your own local fire and rescue service. Types of activities range from leaflet drops and talks in schools on cycling safety to driving advice for winter. Look out for #RoadSafetyWeek and #BrakePledge on social media and help spread the word.

For more information about being safe on the roads whether you are a driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist please visit http://www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/

[1] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2014, Department for Transport, 2015, table RAS50001
[2] Statistical data set: Reported drinking and driving (RAS51), Department for Transport, 2014, table RAS51007
[3] Provisional estimate for 2014, fromReported road casualties Great Britain: Estimates for accidents involving illegal alcohol levels: 2014 (second provisional), Department for Transport, February 2016
[4] The impact of driver inattention on near-crash/crash risk, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2006
[5] Oral evidence: Road traffic law enforcement, HC 518, Transport Select Committee, 7 December 2015
[6] The Impact of Driver Inattention On Near-Crash/Crash Risk: An Analysis Using the 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study Data, US Department of Transportation, 2006
[7] Fit to Drive: a cost benefit analysis of more frequent eyesight testing for UK drivers, RSA Insurance Group plc, 2012
[8] Estimating Local Mortality Burdens associated with Particulate Air Pollution, Public Health England, 2014
[9] Steve H. L. Yim and Steven R. H. Barrett, “Public Health Impacts of Combustion Emissions in the United Kingdom”, Environmental Science & Technology 2012 46 (8), 4291-4296

A safe Hallowe’en doesn’t have to be a nightmare

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Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service demonstrated how easily a high street skeleton costume can ignite

Hallowe’en celebrations have changed considerably over the last few years. The dressing up and having a spooky time is a lot of fun so to make sure you stay safe take a look at some advice from CFOA.

Trick or Treating

Although it is fun to dress up and go out ‘trick or treating’ remember for many people the sight of groups dressed up and knocking on doors during the evening can be intimidating

  • Make sure children are accompanied by adults
  • Make sure your group has plenty of torches so you can see clearly and be seen
  • If a house is not obviously decorated for Hallowe’en it’s probably best not to knock on the door – at the least it can be annoying, at worst people can be frightened
  • Don’t play tricks – damaging property or throwing eggs is a criminal offence

If you have older or vulnerable friends or neighbours ask them how they feel about Hallowe’en.  Would they want some company or to join in your own celebrations rather than staying in? If you don’t want people to knock at your home a polite notice may deter people from knocking.

Dressing Up

Many people enjoy dressing up for Hallowe’en. CFOA is campaigning to raise awareness of the potential dangers of fancy dress costumes. Under current legislation these items are classed as toys but CFOA believes their safety could be improved if they we reclassified as children’s nightwear which undergoes stricter flammability testing.

Although in 2015 this issue was highlighted when TV presenter Claudia Winkleman spoke about  an incident when her daughter suffered burns after her supermarket bought costume caught light, the actual legislation has not changed. Some retailers have made a pledge to ensure their costumes undergo stricter testing which is something CFOA welcomed. But, parents should be aware that this is not the case for all high street retailers.

In order to make costumes as safe as they can be for now CFOA suggests

  • Don’t use candles. LED lights with the appropriate kite mark are safe and look out for naked flames in pumpkins on other people’s property
  • Avoid trailing costumes and make sure they are not too long for children
  • Try and do you research – some retailers have opted to make sure their Hallowe’en costumes undergo the same testing as children’s nightwear
  • Buy from a reputable retailer, this should avoid you ending up with something that should not even be sold in the UK
  • Don’t given children sparklers to hold when they are in fancy dress and adults should be careful with cigarettes and costumes

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue service produced the following film to illustrate just how easily a costume can ignite when exposed to a flame

Make sure your children know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothes catch fire. Take a look at Cheshire Fire and Rescue’s advice http://www.cheshirefire.gov.uk/news-events/webcasts/safety-campaigns/video-stop-drop-and-roll

Fire and rescue services have advice on their own websites for Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night. Take some time to have a look at your own service’s website and have a safe celebration.

National burn awareness day

Today is National Burn Awareness Day an awareness campaign from the Children’s Burns Trust. CFOA along with fire and rescue services throughout the UK support this campaign in order help reduce the number of burns and scalds which occur each year.

Many of these incidents are preventable, but in some cases they lead to injuries which can require years of treatment as well as dealing with the psychological impact of scars. Mark Cashin, CFOA Home Safety Lead said ““Burns don’t only cause physical wounds, they cause emotional scars too: to both those who suffer the burns and to those who feel they may have been in some way responsible.”

Most burn injuries occur in the home with children and the elderly most at risk. Both groups have delicate skin, a baby’s skin is 15 times thinner than an adults and as we age the skin once again thins.  Some changes in behaviour may help reduce the risks of these injuries.

Protecting the young

Hot drinks are the most common cause of scald injury in children. A hot drink even after 15 minutes may still be hot enough to scald a child – so an adult’s perception of a cooled hot drink may still be a danger to a small child. 288 children a month have scald injuries from hot liquids which are serious enough to need specialised treatment from the NHS Burns Service.

  • Make sure you don’t nurse or carry a child whilst you have a hot drink in your hand
  • Make sure you leave hot drinks well out of reach – high up and away from the edge
  • Hot drinks should be kept on a sturdy secure surface- not a table that can be tipped or on a tablecloth that may be pulled by curious hands
  • Avoid carrying or walking around with hot/warm liquids if children are running around your feet
  • Don’t warm baby bottles in the microwave – this can cause hotspots in the milk which won’t be apparent when you test the milk on the back of your wrist

If you attend playgroups with small children consider raising awareness of this issue there. This case study from the Child Accident Prevention Trust ( CAPT) – Developing a parent led hot drinks pledge shows how raising some awareness and making simple changes can keep children safer.

Young children don’t know to pull away from heat so hot surfaces also pose a risk and can cause serious injury. It can also be confusing for a small child as some surfaces are not always hot – for example a radiator may have been touched safely all year when the central heating was off.

  • Surfaces such as an oven will remain hot for a while after it has been used. Never leave children unsupervised in the kitchen
  • Radiators can be hot enough to burn – radiator covers can protect young children from burns
  • Don’t forget the pipework – if you have exposed hot water pipes you can cover them with insulating material
  • Small electrical items as irons and hair straighteners can take a long time to cool down make they are well out reach (including the cords so they can’t be pulled down)

Protecting older people

In older people the pattern of injury is very similar to that of young children. Scalds caused by hot drinks are quite common.

  • Make sure you can comfortably carry a hot drink, if you are unsteady on your feet or prone to falling avoid carry hot drinks in a cup or mug, it may be easier carry it in a flask.
  • If the kettle is hard to lift consider using a smaller and lighter travel kettle or a kettle cradle to pour the hot water
  • Make sure walking routes are clear of any trip hazards

Again the advice for young children in relation to hot surfaces can also be applied to older people so it is worth considering if radiator covers and fire guards are needed. Older people may not have the reactions or strength to pull away from a hot surface quick enough to avoid a burn or if they are unsteady inadvertently reach for a hot surface to steady themselves.

Both young and old can be scalded by hot water from taps

  • Run baths carefully add the hot water after the cold
  • Install thermostatic mixing valves in all hot water outlets
  • Lower the water temperature on your boiler

The correct way to treat a burn or scald

If the worst does happen and someone is burnt or scalded good and appropriate first aid can reduce the recovery time and severity of the injury.

treat-burns

Register right now for a safer home

Most households put quite a bit of time and effort into making sure they have the right appliances for their needs. It might mean you’ve shopped around for the best price, the best reviews or the latest safety features.

Once we open up the item how many of us fill out the paperwork and register the product? Well, according to a 2015 consumer survey by Populus for Electrical Safety First 47% of us do. Previous figures were lower at 36% of consumers and the rise is in part down to the Register My Appliance initiative by AMDEA.

There are many reasons why people don’t register appliances. It’s one of those jobs where you don’t quite complete the paperwork and shove it in a drawer or forget to post the envelope. If can often be because people are concerned about how personal details may be used. The assumption is that this information will be used for marketing purposes and therefore you expect a tirade of junk mail or simply people see no point in registering appliances.

What is the point in registering an appliance?

The main point of registering an appliance is down to safety.

When you buy a brand new appliance it will come with a warranty. Often the manufacturer asks that products are registered in a certain time period after purchase so as not to invalidate the warranty. Length of warranty can vary but if you have a problem you can look at getting it fixed by a qualified person.

Most crucially though, if there is a problem with a product even if the product is out of warranty the manufacturer can contact you and let you know what action needs to be taken.

On some occasions this might be advisory information but often this might be a repair. This repair will be free of charge. In cases of a large recall with an excessive wait for a repair a manufacturer may offer you a discounted replacement product. You don’t have to buy the discounted product – you can wait for the repair. CFOA’s advice though would be not to use a recalled product until it has been repaired even if a manufacturer says it is safe to use.

It is impossible for manufacturers to know who has these appliances unless we let them know. The easiest way to let them know is to register your product just in case there is a problem.

I’ve never registered my appliances – what should I do?

Electrical Safety First say the average success rate of a product recall is between 10-20%. Potentially this means many products are in homes which were recalled and area a fire or electric shock risk.

As part of Home Safety Week CFOA would like people to look at as many appliances as possible and get them registered.

Most people will have a range of appliances from different manufacturers. You can access all the main manufacturers via http://www.registermyappliance.org.uk/registration/

Douglas Herbison, Chief Executive of AMDEA says:

“Using registermyappliance.org.uk is one of the simplest ways of improving household safety. The portal provides quick access to the registration pages of over 65 leading brands. It only takes a few minutes to register appliances up to 12 years old and once it’s done you can be assured that you’ll be contacted in the rare instance that a safety action becomes necessary. “

You will need to know the make, model and serial number of the appliance. All of this information should be on the appliance on small safety plate. On washing machines and tumble dryers look on the inside of the door at the entrance to the drum. On dishwashers and ovens on the inside of the door and in fridges and freezers they are in the main compartment. Then you need a rough idea of the purchase date – it doesn’t have to be exact but useful as some recalls affect models made during a certain period of time.

Appliances do not have to be brand new to be registered. You can register appliances up to 12 years old. If you are not the first owner of an appliance you can still have a safety repair carried out.

What if I don’t know who made my appliance?

There are instances where products are made exclusively for a retailer or trade supplier and badged under that name. In a few cases you may not be able to register the product on AMDEA. You will need to contact the retailer directly and make sure they have your details. In some instances they do specify you should provide these details at time of purchase. Make sure you check if buying such items what the rules are.

Don’t just do your own appliances

As with most things these days – it is much easier to register appliances online. If you are taking the time to register an appliance make some time to do the same for a friend or family member that may need help. Not everyone has access to the internet and not everyone may be able to find the appliance information.register-my-appliance-promo-poster-a4

Home Safety Week 2016

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This week is CFOA Home Safety Week. Fire and rescue services and stakeholders will raise awareness of the risk of accidental house fires caused by home appliances. The focus is primarily on white goods – most people will have at least two of the items listed below in their household.

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Appliance fires 2014-15

White goods alone caused approximately 16,000 accidental fires in 2014-2015 in the UK. Appliance fires can be caused by a range of reasons. Possibly a manufacturing fault or a recalled item but very often it is down to human error. Commonly this can be incorrect installation, maintenance or use of an appliance. The cooker statistics look alarming but many of these fires are caused by user distraction or fat and grease build up. These fires also tend to be small. It is hoped small changes in behaviour can reduce the number of incidents occurring.

Although recently tumble dryer recalls have been in the public eye many more items have been recalled in recent years. Electrical Safety First say the average success rate of an electrical product recall in the UK is about 10-20%. Potentially we are using many products which are unsafe.

As part of the week CFOA is asking fire and rescue service to get behind and help publicise London Fire Brigade’s ‘Total Recalls’ campaign. It aims to make sure the public are better protected from potentially lethal faulty white goods by calling on the Government to improve the way that product recalls work and make it much easier for the public to find out about recalled products by having one government backed recall register.

Home Safety Week will offer advice on:

How to check if your appliances are subject to a recall

How to register appliances

Advice on use and maintenance of appliances

How you can help older friends and relatives in support of Older Peoples Day on 1 October

To find out more about Home Safety Week please get in touch with CFOA and look out for #SafeHome16 on twitter or contact your local fire and rescue service to find out about local activities or advice for your area.

CFOA Supports Gas Safety Week

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CFOA and fire and rescue services in the UK will be supporting Gas Safety Week – 19 -25 September. It is an annual campaign to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of gas appliances. Gas Safety Week is coordinated by Gas Safe Register, the official list of gas engineers who are legally allowed to work on gas.

Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. Many people may think that if a gas appliance has a problem you will smell gas – this is not always the case.

Every year thousands of people across the UK are diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning. It is a highly poisonous gas. You can’t see it, taste it or smell it, but it can kill quickly with no warning.

Here are some simple tips to keep your home safe:

  • Check your gas appliances every year. Gas appliances should be safety checked once a year and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Tenants – make sure your landlord arranges this. Set a reminder so you don’t forget at staygassafe.co.uk
  • Check your engineer is Gas Safe registered. You can find and check an engineer at GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.
  • Check your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card. Make sure they are qualified for the work you need doing. You can find this information on the back of the card.
  • Check for warning signs your appliances aren’t working correctlyg. lazy yellow or orange flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.
CO Poisoning
Be aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning, they can be mistaken for a hangover.
  • Know the six signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
  • Have an audible carbon monoxide alarm and test it regularly – This will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your home.

 

Landlords

Landlords are legally responsible for the safety of their tenants. Landlords should make sure maintenance and annual safety checks on gas appliances are carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Landlords are legally obliged to make sure:

  • Pipe-work, appliances and flues provided for tenants are maintained in a safe condition.
  • All appliances and flues provided for tenants use have an annual safety check. Set a reminder so you don’t forget at www.staygassafe.co.uk.
  • Maintenance and annual safety checks are carried out by an engineer registered with Gas Safe Register.
  • All gas equipment (including any appliance left by a previous tenant) is safe or otherwise removed before re-letting.
  • A Gas Safety Record is provided to the tenant within 28 days of completing the check or to any new tenant before they move in.
  • You keep a copy of the Gas Safety Record for two years.

Tenants

In addition to being aware of the advice above tenants should:

  • Make sure you Check any gas appliances you own (they are your responsibility not that landlords) every year. Gas appliances should be safety checked once a year and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Set a reminder so you don’t forget at staygassafe.co.uk.
  • Check your Landlord’s Gas Safety Record. By law, your landlord must keep gas appliances supplied for you to use in good condition. They should arrange a gas safety check every 12 months and give you a record of the check.
  • Check the engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card. Make sure they are qualified for the work you need doing. You can find this information on the back of the card.

If your landlord is not arranging for gas safety checks and you have asked him to, then you should take action.

Complain to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Their website has plenty of useful advice on what you should expect and what to do if your landlord is falling short. It is very serious if they are not complying – they could face a fine or prison.

For gas safety advice or to find and check an engineer visit the Gas Safe Register website at www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk. Alternatively call the free helpline on 0800 408 5500.

Arson – It’s your business

As part of CFOA Business Safety Week, fire and rescue services are keen to point out the advice and help they can give businesses to prevent them becoming a victim of arson.

In the UK there are more than 3000 arson attacks on businesses each year. Most businesses never recover from a serious fire incident so it is worth taking measures to ensure your business is not an easy target. Most steps businesses can take are quite straightforward and simple.

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Don’t fuel the fire

An arsonist will tend to look for any material to use a fuel. Rubbish is often used.

Make sure you manage waste correctly and efficiently. As we approach the Christmas period it may be that you have more waste than usual. Consider making plans so this waste does not accumulate. This may mean more frequently collections, using additional safe storage or even just making sure staff are breaking down items such as boxes correctly so bins are efficiently filled.

Try and keep combustible waste locked away or secured – arsonists will move the waste to a vulnerable or more secluded part of the business or move waste and wheelie bins and use them to climb to gain access to other areas. Waste should also be away from the buildings so if it is set alight it minimises the chances of spreading.

Be Secure

Make sure you review security at your business. Most arson attacks happen after hours when the business is unoccupied and in the cover of darkness. Make sure your business has robust security procedures and is securely locked.

CCTV and security lighting will make it harder for your business to be targeted. Make sure any trees or foliage is trimmed back and any cameras have good lines of sight. Make sure if someone gets onto your site they feel exposed and can be seen not just by cameras but any passing traffic or nearby buildings.

Lighting should be carefully planned as bad lighting can create shadows in which to hide or illuminate a secluded area to make it easier for an intruder to do damage. Infra- red lighting can panic an intruder and makes it less likely they can plan entry to the site.

Restrict access to your business out of hours. Try and keep access routes for pedestrians and vehicles to a minimum and ideally have these monitored. Signs to direct people to reception and designated areas for customer and staff parking will make people feel the site is managed and they are more likely to be questioned if they are off the normal route.

Look at places such as your front door- does post accumulate? Could combustibles be pushed through the door to start a fire? If so, an arson proof letter box which fits to the inside of the door or an external letter box are simple and cost effective precautions.

Talk to your neighbours

You may be aware of anti-social activity in your area. This might not present as fire setting but could be vandalism or evidence of anti-social gatherings. If this is the case this should be discouraged and it would be worth asking for advice from your local police. Work with other businesses to act as eyes and ears.

If there is any evidence of deliberate fire setting, no matter how small this should be reported. Tell your local fire and rescue service and the police. Small fires can be a precursor to a larger incident. But also make sure any neighbouring businesses are aware of incidents so you can work together.

Prevent fire spread

As CFOA have mentioned previously in the week staff training can be key to ensuring that incidents are responded to quickly and appropriately. Make sure staff are aware of the risk of arson particularly if small incidents have occurred.

Make all staff aware of the locking up procedure and abide by it. This is important to make sure the site is secure, but it should also include steps to mitigate fire spread if an incident should occur.  This can be as simple as making sure all internal doors are closed before leaving the building at night.

Make sure you have an out of hours detection system in place with suitable procedures. In the event of a fire the quicker the fire service can attend the less damage is likely to occur.

You may wish to consider a sprinkler system or water mist system. Information can be provided about the benefits from your local fire service.