Our role at Wrightstyle is designing, fabricating – and installing – advanced fire resistant systems. It means that the occupants of a building can safely get away from the fire along protected escape routes.
It also means containing the fire in one discrete place to minimise fire damage and therefore better ensure business continuity.
At the beginning of next month, the USA will mark Arson Awareness Week.
There’s nothing comparable in the UK, and we think that there should be.
It’s not something that companies much think about because we assume that it’s relatively rare.
But The Arson Prevention Forum estimates that the annual cost of arson in England alone could be as high as £1.45 billion.
Arson is an expensive crime. But is it that rare?
Well, fire statistics suggest that over 40% of all fires attended by fire and rescue services in England are classed as deliberate.
That’s over 70,000 fires a year. Since 2004, the number of deliberate fires has increased by more than 10%.
Companies should therefore take it seriously. That starts with a fire safety risk assessment looking at every aspect of the business.
That includes how materials are stored and what fire precautions are in place.
Arson risk assessment
An arson risk assessment should be carried out as part of the fire safety risk assessment procedure. This is required by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Companies should include arson prevention in regular basic staff training. An organisation’s attitude towards fire safety issues greatly influences the attitude of its staff.
The Arson Prevention Forum emphasises that many companies targeted by arson attack go out of business.
Having a plan of action
Having a robust plan of action and a strategic business continuity plan should be front of mind for every business owner.
The fact is that some 80% of firms without a business continuity plan will be bankrupt within five years of surviving a major disaster.
Our systems at Wrightstyle stop fire, smoke and toxic gases from spreading for up to 120 minutes and are accredited to EU, US and Asia Pacific standards.
Our advice therefore, which we repeat often and loudly, is to always specify the glass and steel as one unit to optimise the level of protection from a fire.