Extinguishers – the first line of defence against fires

 A new survey has highlighted the vital role that portable fire extinguishers play as a first response to fire.

According to the Fire Industry Association (FIA), the survey highlighted the increasingly important role that portable extinguishers play as a first response to fire, with 88% of fires tackled with a portable extinguisher being put out – an even higher figure than in the previous survey carried out in 2003.

As businesses have a specific duty of care for fire safety, they must appoint a responsible person to provide and maintain appropriate fire fighting equipment, and many companies sub-contract this activity to a competent outside company. Key requirements include: ·

  • installing the correct type of extinguisher. These are categorised into various classes according to the usage of the premises and materials kept 
  • all extinguishers should be accessible, correctly mounted and in appropriate and conspicuous locations
  • maintenance should be by a competent person and weekly checks made and logged confirming that they are accessible and in apparent working order
  • training must be given to staff on their use and on emergency procedures

Failure to comply with the requirements can result in sanctions by an enforcing authority.

Extinguishers – the first line of defence against fires

Make sure you expect the unexpected

As recent events around the globe have amply demonstrated, assessing the potential risks facing a country’s population and economy is never easy.

Thankfully, assessing the potential risks to your business is an easier and more manageable task. A whole range of unforeseen events can impact on your day to day operations, and insurance is available to protect against most eventualities.

Standard insurance policies normally cover loss of profits following any damage at your premises. This cover can be extended to include a wide range of other risks which could impact on trading and lead to a loss of turnover or increased costs. Examples include: ·

  • damage to suppliers’, customers’, sub-contractors’ and storage premises anywhere in the world 
  • loss of access to your premises caused by damage nearby 
  • damage to a local attraction, such as a sports ground, that affects the trade of your business 
  • closure or reduced turnover because of a murder, suicide, infectious disease, loss of license, defective sanitation, a bomb hoax or riots nearby 
  • death of a key employee/director, or the death of a member of the Royal Family or a personality used in an advertising campaign 
  • damage to specialised transport vehicles or to any contract site 
  • breakdown of key equipment or loss of utilities
  • reputational damage, breach of copyright or patents

In many cases, your risks can often be contained by dual sourcing, changing the way you do business or having viable contingency plans. In some cases however, special insurance may be the only solution to give you peace of mind – as well as being a lower cost option.

To find out more about a risk assessment please get in touch.

Make sure you expect the unexpected

A safe way to protect yourself

Morrison PLC is suing former directors of Safeway for many millions of pounds in recompense for huge fines imposed on them because Safeway operated a price rigging circle with other supermarkets, before they were bought by Morrison.

This is yet another example of how directors are becoming increasingly vulnerable as injured parties seek to recover compensation from anyone who can pay. Many businesses still do not insure directors and officers against the growing risks they face and failure to do so can cause ruin for individuals.

Premiums are not high so if your directors and offices are not protected already just call us on 01737 373222 to discuss this further

A safe way to protect yourself

Accidents can come back to haunt you

One of the outcomes of the recession is the increased level of fraudulent claims against employers and other business providers.

Launching a claim for injury or damage can often seem an easy way of making money for cash strapped individuals. They are constantly being bombarded by advertisements from accident compensation companies telling them how easy it is to make money at no risk and little hassle.

All too simply, that niggling back pain which can easily be forgotten when there is plenty of work can become a real earner when work is not so plentiful. Employers especially in the building trades are increasingly being sued by ex-employees that suddenly are unable to work because of an old injury. The same situation applies to local authorities, shopping centre owners and any business that owns or occupies an area where the public has access and slips and trips can occur. Some desperate people feign injures or even injure themselves deliberately to obtain compensation.

Insurers are well aware of this recession related phenomenon and are well trained to manage such claimants. However, it is important that businesses safeguard themselves as much as possible by having a well documented system to record everything that happens.

Every incident, however trivial, should be recorded in an accident record book and where possible witnesses names taken and recorded. The more details that are taken at the time of the incident the better. You should take pictures of the site of any accident if you can. Records should be kept as long as possible as claims can be made up to three years later.

If you have any suspicion the incident could lead to a claim, let us know immediately. The insurance industry has a number of databases that can be searched to check personal information and identify fraudsters. The sooner this is done the better.

Fraudulent claims can cost you dearly. They are time consuming and can lead to higher premiums, and in some cases, difficulty in getting cover. It is better to be prepared than to try and reconstruct an event sometime later.

Accidents can come back to haunt you