building fire

How Businesses Can Help To Reduce The Risk Of Arson


Sadly, arson continues to be an issue throughout the UK and remains the largest single cause of fire in England and Wales. Everybody has a part to play in helping to reduce this number through educating young people about the risks and dangers of fire and reporting any suspicious activity to the emergency services.

As well as being a real risk to life, arson attacks are a waste of fire service resources drawing fire fighters away from accidental fire.

An arson attack can be devastating for a business, and some will not survive the financial impact. This blog focusses particularly on what businesses can do to reduce the risks.

Rubbish provides an easy source of fuel for arsonists and this type of fire can spread quickly. You can help reduce the risk of a fire being started by putting rubbish out on the appropriate collection day so that it is not sitting around attracting unwanted attention. Rubbish should not be stored in stairwells, corridors or escape routes and any communal bins should be well lit and kept secure.

If you are having building work carried out, try to ensure that any skips are removed as soon as they are full.

Keeping buildings secure is one of the best ways to prevent arson. This includes derelict buildings as well as those that are in regular use. All doors and windows should be closed and locked at the end of each day, and derelict or unused buildings should be boarded up. The gap underneath any external doors should be as small as possible to stop any lighted material being pushed underneath. A regular check should be carried out to identify any damage to buildings and perimeters so that these can be repaired as soon as possible.

If you are able to install CCTV, intruder alarms and security lighting these will all help to deter potential arsonists. Arson often occurs when buildings are unoccupied, especially at night.

If you need to store any flammable substances these should not be left out in the open but stored safely and securely out of view, preferably in a storage area away from the building. It is also important that flammable substances are kept away from any fuel sources such as paper or cardboard.

Finally, be vigilant and encourage everyone working in the building to be aware of any suspicious activity or unexpected visitors. It is also possible to install a fire reduction letterbox if you feel you are at particular risk of deliberate fire attack.

A fire risk assessment can help to identify and address any fire risks in your business or organisation. If you would like some professional advice our experienced and friendly team will be happy to help.