Advice for businesses and landlords

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Businesses and landlords in Cheshire will benefit from free fire safety advice during UK Business Safety Week this September.

From 7 — 13th September, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service will be undertaking a number of activities aimed at improving fire safety in the workplace and ensuring landlords are ready for new safety laws expected to come into effect in October.

On Thursday 10th September, Cheshire Fire is encouraging business owners, managers and people responsible for fire safety in the workplace to come along to a free drop-in session hosted by South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Fire officers will be on hand to offer advice and guidance on simple measures that can significantly reduce the risks of fire and explain the legal responsibilities of undertaking a Fire Risk Assessment within a company.

The drop in session is being held at South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Crewe Business Park from 8:30am until 10:30am.

If approved by Parliament, new regulations will make it compulsory for all landlords to fit smoke alarms in rented homes. Under the new laws smoke alarms must be fitted on every floor of the property as well as carbon monoxide alarms in properties which burn solid fuels. Landlords must also check the alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy with potential penalties of up to £5,000 if they don't comply.

To help landlords gear up for the new regulations, Cheshire Fire will host a free seminar on Tuesday 8th September at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters in Winsford from 2pm until 4pm. The event will explain the new legislation and provide free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to landlords and letting agencies ahead of the regulations coming into force. Landlords can also contact Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service by visiting www.cheshirefire.gov.uk to obtain the alarms and receive guidance on where and how to fit them.

Mark Cashin, Deputy Chief Fire Officer for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Chair of CFOA's Home Safety Committee, explained:
"We are committed to helping businesses protect themselves, their customers and their properties from fire and arson, all of which can have a devastating impact. Our activities during UK Business Safety Week are a way of engaging with people and passing on crucial safety messages.

"The new laws for landlords will stop dozens of people from losing their lives to fire each year so it is vital that they understand their responsibilities. Statistically people are four times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there is no working smoke alarm and over the next 10 years it is estimated that the new laws will result in 231 fewer deaths and 5,860 less injuries."

Throughout UK Business Safety Week, fire officers will also visit businesses in Warrington, Frodsham and Sandbach to give advice about fire safety laws, including the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, business continuity and arson prevention.

As part of their visits, fire officers will check that businesses are able to keep themselves safe in the event of a fire. Part of this will include checking that fire risk assessments are up to date, emergency lighting is being checked on a regular basis and fire extinguishers are maintained.

For more information on any of these events, please visit www.cheshirefire.gov.uk or to book a place at the Landlord's Legislation seminar email: Kristian.Clowes@cheshirefire.gov.uk.