The Fire Industry Association (FIA) has welcomed new government statistics which indicate fewer fires in Great Britain in 2012/13, with significant drops in fires in buildings such as retail stores, pubs, cafes, sheds and industrial manufacturing plants.
Figures from Fire Statistics: Great Britain April 2012 to March 2013, show that in total crews were present at 192,600 fires, a 29% reduction from last year's figure of 273,000.
There were 350 fire fatalities in Britain in this timeframe, in comparison to 397 the year before.
The data revealed 22,500 fires took place in non-residential premises, such as retail stores, pubs, cafes, private garden sheds and industrial manufacturing plants, an 18% decrease from last year and a 41% decline from 2002/3.
Overall, 17 people died in blazes in this type of building, while there were more than 1000 non-fatal incidents.
The 22,500 fires recorded in buildings that were not dwellings occurred in:
private garages and sheds: 19% or 4300 fires
retail premises: 14% or 3100 fires
industrial premises: 11% or 2600 fires
restaurants, cafes, pub/wine bars, and take aways: 10% or 2300 fires
communal living spaces: 9% or 2000 fires.
Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are required to undertake a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
The FIA warned, “While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.”