Fire chiefs issue safety warning to businesses after spate of Fenland factory blazes

FIRE chiefs have called on business owners to ensure their warehouses are safe from fire after a series of factory blazes across Fenland and Cambridgeshire.

The warning comes a week after a Whittlesey warehouse housing Albermarle Wholesale - the new company set up by 62-year-old Nicholas Wattiez - went up in flames.

Fire chiefs listed a string of high-profile fires in Fenland, including blazes at the Conveyor Express factory, in Friday Bridge last month, and Plasgran, in Wimblington in February.

Mick Marsh, Fire Protection Adviser for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The implications of a factory fire for a business are huge - job losses, business continuity and loss of contracts, and increased insurance premiums.

“As well as this, there can be knock on effects to other businesses and detrimental effects to the local economy and environment.”

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Mr Marsh offered the following tips to protect businesses from the risk of fire:

• An up-to-date Fire Risk Assessment

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• Regular electrical checks and portable appliance testing

• Safe working practices

• Regular premises checks

• Staff awareness fire training.

• Reducing the potential for arson (e.g. greater security)

Mr Marsh said: “It is also worth bearing in mind that the main causes for factory fires are combustible items being too close to heat sources, faulty equipment or appliances, and faulty fuel supplies.

“Make sure you store combustible material in a safe place, and keep all equipment well maintained and frequently inspected.”

A special guidance document for businesses is available on the fire service website:

The document is called ‘Fire Safety - Risk Assessment: Factories and Warehouses’ and is produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

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