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This is what can happen when you ignore fire safety inspections

A fire safety inspection may not be particularly high on your list of important events for your business, but as a Whitby restaurant owner has found out, your bank balance, customers and staff will thank you for it.

Fire Safety Inspection

Having a fire safety inspection is a legal requirement. The law regarding fire safety inspections states that the local fire authority must enforce The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and Section 19 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, since the law came into force on 1st October 2006. Inspections are carried out by specialist fire inspection officers, who visit properties deemed as higher risk, as well as any complex commercial premises. The inspectors' job is to carry out an assessment, and identify any associated risks which the business owner needs to take action on to ensure that they're complying with the law.

Azad Hussain, who was formerly the company director of Whitby restaurant “Kam Thai” in Church Street, pleaded guilty to not complying with six different fire safety regulations when he appeared at York Crown Court in front of His Honour Judge Jamieson QC.

However, it wasn't just the restaurant area itself which was the main cause for concern. The inspection covered the entire building. North Yorkshire's Fire and Rescue Service visited the restaurant to carry out a fire safety inspection on 8th August, when they discovered what was described as a series of “serious fire safety deficiencies” in the associated employee accommodation.

Mr Hussain was also criticised for failing to have a functional fire alarm and fire detector system, ignoring a previous fire risk assessment and its enforcement notice, and blocking a fire exit with combustible items. It was also found that staff had not received adequate fire training to allow them to ensure everyone's safety. He was fined £40,000, along with £6,800 in costs. In addition, the company was fined £6,000.

If you're not sure if you'll pass your next fire safety inspection, there's plenty of advice available online, and from specialist companies like AEL Systems. It's much easier to pass your inspection if you know what you're looking for, and a little bit of helpful advice can go a long way.

Tags: FireInspectionSafety

AEL to install new security system at Lingfield Point Darlington

As part of a new security investment at Lingfield Point, Darlington, AEL Systems will install new CCTV equipment as well as enhance the use of an automatic number plate recognition system.

The new CCTV system will make use of state-of-the-art IP High Definition cameras along with software that makes the system faster, more agile and easier to use.

As locally based fire and security installers, AEL and managing director Lee Willis said he was delighted to have been awarded the contract.

As one of the premier security systems firms in the North East it’s good to work with companies who understand the real benefits of this state-of-the-art technology and who are prepared to invest in it” he said.

AEL Systems Lingfield Point

Lingfield Point Business Park

Lingfied Point in Darlington is continuing to invest to ensure it always provides a welcoming and secure neighbourhood for its customers and visitors to the business park.

Its 24/7 concierge team keep a watchful eye on the busy site - and now a five figure make-over of the CCTV and automatic number plate recognition systems – means even more peace of mind for the 3,000 people who work there.

With a round-the-clock workforce based at the 90 acre site the concierge team has a busy job looking out for the 60 firms based in the fast moving environment.

Now investment in new technology means the team is able to keep up with the fast pace of life at Lingfield Point. High definition mega pixel cameras have been installed along with new software which makes the systems faster, more agile and easier to use.

Eddie Humphries, estate manager, said: “Our unique concierge team ensures a safe and welcoming environment for our customers. We provide a service that is second to none and we want to keep it that way. As this investment shows we are continually investing in improving our security systems and ways of monitoring on site activities - customers are able to put it to the back of their minds and go about their daily business.”

Tags: ANPRCCTV

Three business owners convicted of fire safety breaches

Oxford City Council - Fire Breaches

Three landlords from Oxfordshire have been handed fines totalling over £11,000 after being convicted of breaches in fire safety.

In three separate cases, Abdul Saleem Chaudhry, Shoukat Khan and Deborah May Humes were each found guilty of a range of housing and safety offences, after inspections by environmental officers from Oxford City Council unearthed high-risk fire safety faults.

As well as pleading guilty to managing a house of multiple occupancy (HMO), Mrs Humes was convicted of fire offences including a lack of working smoke alarms and failing to provide a fire door to the kitchen.

Mr Khan was found guilty of breaching fire safety conditions at his licensed HMO, while Mr Chaudry was ordered to pay more than £4,000 in fines after staff were found to be living illegally above his Shezan restaurant in a flat with two major fire safety faults.

With councils reporting significant increases in the number of landlords and business owners in breach of fire safety regulations, a campaign to educate business owners about their responsibilities is under way. Failure to comply with fire safety legislation has become a major issue for environmental officers in recent years, with the increase in buy to let landlords and the growth in small and medium sized businesses largely responsible for the spike in deaths, injuries and prosecutions.

All business owners must abide by strict rules when it comes to fire safety. Ensuring proper advice is received and adequate action taken to safeguard employees is crucial when it comes to reducing the numbers killed or seriously injured in workplace and rental property fires.

With expert knowledge of fire safety regulations and a range of fire safety equipment from trusted manufacturers, we at AEL Systems are ideally placed to offer advice and guidance to business owners. Ensuring you take the necessary legal fire safety precautions is vital, so contact AEL Systems today on 01325 467398 to ensure your business is compliant.

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Latest fire statistics are a call to action

Fire Safety Home Office Figures

Here at AEL Systems, we take fire safety very seriously. Even a cursory glance at the latest official fire statistics should be enough to convince any business presently without a fire safety system that’s it’s time to have one installed.

At the start of the year, the Home Office assumed control of fire services from the department for communities and local government. The first set of fire statistics published since then considers the causes of fires, as well as the seasonality and temporality of fires, and the use of smoke alarms.

The startling statistics for the year 2014/15 include the following:

  • Fire and rescue services attended around 496,000 incidents in that period and of these, 31% were fire related, with 6% (or 31,000 incidents), dwelling fires.
  • There were 4.8 fire-related deaths for every one million people in England, 41% of which were people aged 65 or older.
  • Nearly half (46%) of all fires took place between 4pm and 10pm.
  • Some 30% of all fires, and 35% of all fatalities, occurred in dwellings where no smoke alarm was present.
  • In terms of starting fires, smoker’s apparatus, such as cigarettes, cigars, and pipes, were the igniters blamed for 36% of deaths in all accidental dwelling fires. 
  • Around 50% of all accidental dwelling fires were caused by cooking appliances.
  • In terms of fatalities, the numbers tend to be more stable during the daytime with 25% of all fatalities occurring between midnight and 6am.

While no one really needs to be told that fires can have devastating consequences – for both people and property - it can be all too easy to become complacent. If you’re an employer and want to find out how we can help to keep your employees safe from the hazards of fire, please give us a call today on 01325 467398.

Tags: FireStatistics

Why accreditation matters when it comes to fire safety

Choosing a fire safety company for your business is no small matter. When you're weighing up the value of the safety of your whole business, its employees and the whole property, it's clear that getting it wrong is a grave mistake. So how do you find a reliable fire safety option?

BAFE SP203

Luckily there is an independent regulatory organisation that assesses the reliability of fire detection and prevention systems. It's called the British Association of Fire Equipment, or BAFE, and it approves fire safety companies based on its SP203 scheme to prove a company is deemed reliable.

BAFE was set up in 1981 in the grounds of Moreton-in-Marsh's Fire Service College in Gloucestershire. Being independent, it is able to give impartial decisions about what constitutes a good fire safety company without being seen to show favouritism for one company or another.

So what does BAFE SP203 actually signify? In order to be assessed for this qualification, a company must apply to a BAFE certification body for training. This is a modular course that ensures companies are drilled in the areas they need to know the most. Firstly, they learn about the design of their fire safety systems. Secondly, they learn about the installation of the fire safety equipment. Thirdly, they are assessed on the commissioning and detection of their fire detection and prevention systems. And finally they are educated in the handover and maintenance of the systems.

There are a number of certification bodies that are responsible for handing out BAFE SP203 certificates and for assessing the essential knowledge explained in the BAFE guidelines for fire safety equipment. BAFE itself, meanwhile, oversees the setting forth and amendment of these guidelines.

So, when you sit down to decide on a fire regulation and prevention service for your company, make sure you contact AEL Systems on 01325 467398 and be safe in the knowledge that we are certified under BAFE SP203-1.

Tags: BAFESP203

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