Fire safety is becoming inflammatory

When I was in the fire service one of our tasks was to help people in the community to stay safe. This meant giving them advice and helping them to ensure their premises – particularly business premises – were safe and protected as far as possible.

Of course, some people not only got it wrong, but didn’t seem interested in getting in right and, as a result, had enforcement notices issued to compel them to take action. These were extreme cases and, if ignored, they were taken to court and fined.

Most business people are willing to get it right – but it seems that the fire services in some areas are on a mission to slap as many enforcement notices on local businesses as possible.

I’ve come across several recently that, on closer examination, are unnecessary, punitive and, in fact, not enforceable. Unfortunately, the business owner concerned is often unaware of that – they are simply afraid of a big fine and try to comply with everything demanded. Some spend thousands – and still get fined – which has to be wrong.