It is a fact that most of the arson fires affecting shops and commercial buildings are lit outside. The culprits are often vandals with little more motive than to cause trouble. They light fires with anything readily to hand - waste, packaging, rubbish in open skips and plastic trays.
Follow these simple steps to reduce the risk of your building becoming an arson statistic:
Disposal of waste
- don't let packagaing, waste or rubbish accumulate anywhere on the premises or immediately outside the building
- packaging, waste or rubbish should be removed regularly to a safe storage area - metal bins with closed lids, ideally in a locked location
- arrange for more frequent disposal of waste if it regularly builds up
- without blocking fire exits, limit as far as possible the number of entrances in use
- ensure that doors and windows are in good repair and that locks are working
- gaps under doors to the street should be as narrow as possible to prevent lighted paper being pushed under them
- if there is a letter-box it should have a metal container fitted on the inside of the building
- access to storage areas and warehousing should be limited to authorised members of staff only
- make sure you know who has keys to the premises - follow up any missing keys
- consider whether there should be a procedure for leaving lights on at night
How can my staff help?
- keep an eye on what is going on - staff should exercise vigilance at all times
- as part of staff training, remind all employees of the arson threat and advise them to report suspicious behaviour by customers (or other staff)