AF&RS supporting local businesses this Christmas

Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) wants to thank local businesses across the service area for working to keep the places we work and visit safe and ultimately in business.

Throughout the year the Service works with organisations across our communities of Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset to provide them with fire safety advice and information, speak to staff and work together to ensure they are compliant with fire safety regulations.

In 2005, the Government introduced the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order which means that any person who has some level of control in premises must take reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire and make sure people can safely escape if there is a fire. 

The Order applies to almost all premises and covers most types of buildings, structures and open spaces. It does not apply to people’s private homes including flats in a block or house.

Our technical fire safety department works closely with those subject to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to ensure these premises are compliant with the legislation. 

Between 2010 and 2018, the number of primary fires Avon Fire & Rescue Service has been called to in properties subject to the order has gradually declined over time, as shown in the following graph.

 Number of calls

Steve Quinton, Group Manager for Risk Reduction at AF&RS, said: “We would like to thank all the local businesses which have worked with us to help lower the number of incidents the Service is called to attend.

“Attending unnecessary or preventable fires in the local areas can be a large drain on resources which could be better utilised elsewhere and we fully support any work that helps to lower this.

“We will always work with businesses to ensure they comply with the Fire Safety Order and welcome collaboration across our Service area.

“By following some simple steps, we can help keep the number of incidents low across the festive period.”

This Christmas, AF&RS want to continue supporting businesses across the area by posing fire safety considerations:

  • Do you have high levels of stock, which may be encroaching on areas not normally used for that purpose?
  • Are stairways and corridors required for means of escape and areas near fire exits kept clear of obstructions and material which can catch fire?
  • Are staff or customers likely to trip on stock left in walkways?
  • Have you assessed the risks associated with workplace transport particularly regarding deliveries?
  • Have you considered the additional accumulation of waste packaging creating a higher than normal fire load? (supplementary waste collections may be necessary)
  • Are the fire exits and/or the signs to the fire exits still visible?
  • Have temporary staff been made aware of their responsibilities?
  • Have you carried out a review of your fire risk assessment in light of the above points?

To further support our work in this area, AF&RS have and will continue to invest in its technical fire safety capabilities. Over the next 12 months, AF&RS will double its team of fire safety officers.

For the first time, it will be seeking applications from members of the public who have experience or wish to gain qualifications to become fire safety inspectors.

Technical Fire safety officers carry out a number of functions as part of their role. They are responsible for inspecting buildings, carrying out building regulation applications, licensing inspections and working as part of safety advisory groups.

The role is varied and challenging but is rewarded by gaining qualifications, new skills and the satisfaction of ensuring premises are safe for occupants and visitors.

If you have an attention to detail, are able to work independently or as part of a team and be able to carry out analysis and work to deadlines and have a commitment to improving safety then this is a role to explore.


Are you a business or commercial property and need to ask us about fire safety?  If so access more information and get in touch by visiting and searching for Business Safety.