BUSINESSES have been warned about the need not to become complacent against the risk of fires following the death of 233 people in a blaze at a nightclub in Brazil.
The London Fire Brigade has warned the owners of clubs, pubs and restaurants in the capital about the risk.
The responsibility for fire safety lies solely with business owners who are legally required to have up-to-date fire safety plans taking into account how people would escape in the event of a fire.
After the tragic fire in Santa Maria, Brazil, London fire chiefs are urging businesses to check their procedures and to ensure:
• Staircases and corridors should be kept clear
• Fire exit doors must not be blocked or locked from the outside
• Exit routes should be well marked
• Fire extinguishers – roughly one for every 200sq metres of floor space and one on each floor
• Staff should be trained in what to do in the event of a fire
The London Fire Brigade’s assistant commissioner for fire safety regulation Steve Turek said the Brazil blaze was a stark reminder for businesses.
He said: “There is no room for complacency when it comes to fire safety. Businesses must be able to show that they have thought about how they will keep people safe if the worst should happen and they do have a fire.
“The London Fire Brigade regularly inspects the fire safety of nightclubs and thousands of other businesses. If people are breaking fire safety laws, we will have no hesitation in prosecuting them”.