Arson is still one of the biggest causes of fires in the UK – how businesses protect themselves will always be a hot topic.
According to the National Fire Chiefs Council, arson is the biggest factor although modern construction materials still play a part.
Over fifty percent of all fires attended by firefighters in 2017/18 were due to arson. On top of that the financial loss for business is huge! Estimates put the loss between £5.7 and £11.5 billion!
Empty premises are obviously the hardest hit as many are seriously under-protected.
Businesses, particularly foundries and those with premises empty for long periods, need to plan carefully to ensure buildings are secured.
Schools can also be at greater risk of malicious fire setting, particularly during long periods where they are of unoccupied. They can take a number of measures to reduce risk, from reviewing and upgrading building security, to relocating combustible external structures such as sheds, waste and litter bins or temporary buildings, away from main buildings.
In the modern built environment, many buildings are changing use which can present new fire risks. As an example, a few years ago there were a number of former refrigerated warehouse units being converted into offices and other uses, but with the original combustible insulation in place. That situation has changed, but there remains the possibility that a similar situation could arise as other buildings are re-purposed.
Above all, businesses, schools and anyone else operating buildings need to ensure they have the proper insurance protection in place. It’s essential not only to protect assets but also ensure business continuity wherever possible.
Get in touch with one of our expert advisers if you would like to know more.