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August 11, 2010

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Fire safety – CIEH qualifications

Too many businesses are failing to take fire safety seriously, risking massive fines and major disruption, according to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).

The Institute says compliance has not improved significantly since the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) came into force in October 2006, with courts ordering individuals and companies to pay more than £1m in fines and costs last year in London for breaches of the Order. The cost of fire damage also stands at a record level, adds the CIEH, with insurers paying out more than £1.3 billion in 2008 alone.

To help businesses comply with their duties under the legislation, the Institute has launched a range of nationally recognised and accredited fire safety qualifications. The qualifications range from a basic course in workplace fire safety awareness to training staff to be able to undertake fire safety roles and responsibilities, and a more advanced training programme that enables candidates to carry out fire risk assessments.

Des Hancox, of the CIEH, said: “Businesses can suffer catastrophic damage as a result of a fire. Apart from the human risks associated with fires, organisations often experience prolonged disruption to daily activity and incur significant costs – not to mention the potential for damage to reputation.”

He added: “The qualification sits as part of the CIEH’s health and safety qualifications. Quality health and safety training plays an important role in reducing workplace accidents, and fire safety training can help further reduce business risk and losses.”

For more details on the qualifications, visit www.cieh.org/firesafety

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