According to the nationally representative survey of 250 business owners, over a third of businesses (38%) do not have suitable fire risk assessments in place and more than 80% of businesses do not have written regulations against false fire alarms, and the risks they pose, within their company handbooks.
The research also found that almost 40% of the businesses surveyed have not given all of their staff training on the common causes of false alarms and how to mitigate the risks of these happening within their workplace.
This was particularly prevalent in restaurants, bars and cafes, where this figure rises to 75% suggesting that if businesses do not train their staff in fire prevention, the associated risks could be huge. In particular, damaged reputation, loss of revenue and a decrease in business efficiency, are all potential consequences if businesses and employees are not prepared to deal with the impact of a false fire alarm sounding.
JLA’s research was conducted as part of its “False fire alarms” campaign, revealing a huge lack of business preparedness in mitigating the risks associated with false fire alarms.
“Our survey revealed worrying statistics around businesses both not maintaining their fire safety equipment or delivering vital fire safety training to their staff. This suggests that if a fire were to occur, many organisations could be placing their customers, and employees, under extreme risk.
“At a time when British businesses need the continued loyalty of their customers and staff, prioritising safety and reducing the risk of false fire alarms is a priority for every organisation. Ensuring fire alarms are being frequently tested and maintained is absolutely essential. Failing to do so could not only risk the lives of employees and customers but could leave the business facing extreme fines and a damaged reputation.”