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Community link between London Fire Brigade and Islington’s diverse business class

Community link provides a bridge between business communities and London Fire Brigade
Regulatory Reform Order was discussed at Community Link with London's business community

London Fire Brigade will outline how important it is for businesses to understand the law and their role in fire safety.

Forging stronger community links and explaining important fire safety legislation were top of the agenda when London Fire Brigade hosted a reception for an organisation that represents Islington's minority business community on Friday 23 April.

The event, called Community Link, was an opportunity for the Brigade to discuss the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRO) with advisors from the Association of Community Based Business Advisors (ACBBA). ACBBA provides resources and support to grass root organisations in Islington and it is hoped that the advisors will pass on the information to their members which represent 15 diverse communities including Bangladeshi, Chinese and Somali. The Brigade will outline how important it is for businesses to understand the law and their role in fire safety. Research from Touche Ross and London Chamber of Commerce estimates that up to 80 per cent of businesses fail within 12 months of suffering a major catastrophe, such as a fire. The initiative was set up following a number of enforcement activities carried out by the Brigade at businesses in the borough.

The RRO applies to virtually all buildings, places and structures (the main exception being private homes) so includes premises like shops, restaurants, offices, nightclubs, care homes, sports venues and also communal areas, parts of blocks and houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) used in common by the occupants of more than one flat or bedsit.

There should be proper understanding of fire safety laws by business communities 

The law places the responsibility for fire safety in the hands of employers and other people who have control of premises such as landlords, owners and other people with control of premises, so having an understanding of fire safety and the role they have to play is at the heart of good business management. This understanding is particularly important for small and medium size businesses and landlords who might not consider fire safety to be a top priority.

Station Manager Rick Ogden set up the event and heads up the fire safety team in the City and Islington. He said: "The event was a great success and getting involved with ACBBA allows us to get fire safety information to those who need it the most. It is essential that anyone who owners a business or premises understands their responsibility under the fire safety order. The amount of businesses that do not recover after a fire shows that during economic hardship it is even more important to take fire safety seriously. You cannot run a good business without good fire safety management." 

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