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North Yorkshire firms fail to meet fire safety regulations
BUSINESSES in North Yorkshire are not meeting fire safety regulations, with almost half of those inspected last year failing safety audits.
Latest figures show that between April 2011 and March last year, 1,416 of the businesses which were inspected by officers from North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, failed their audits. Out of those, 38 were the subject of enforcement orders.
Last month, The Press reported how one of those stores, Jack Wills in Stonegate, had been fined £27,000 by magistrates in York after repeatedly failing to address concerns raised by fire inspectors.
The latest figures, released by fire risk company Safety Management, said businesses and organisations were “gambling with their future by cutting back on vital safety work”.
Managing director Brian Gregory said: “The figures suggest that business is still not getting it right when it comes to managing their own fire safety.
“Principally, managing your own fire safety stems from completing a fire risk assessment. Once you have completed your fire risk assessment it is critical that you work on significant findings that the assessment identifies. Often business owners and managers feel that by having fire extinguishers in place and have a fire detection system in their building they are covered.
“But critically, unless the assessment is completed by a competent person, there is no guarantee that the fire detection is the right system for the building.”
Mr Gregory said companies in the region were under increasing pressure from the recession and were looking to save money by putting off fire risk assessments and cutting back on vital maintenance and investment in safety measures.
He said: “Small businesses are feeling the pressure of the recession and they are looking to save money where they can, but putting fire safety to the bottom of their priorities is a false economy.”