London Fire Brigade

Arson advice for businesses

Vigilance and good management of your premises will reduce the risk of fire to your business. There are some key actions you can take to help protect your premises and people using them.

Practical steps to reduce the risk of arson

These actions will reduce the risk of an arson attack and its consequences whether you are on the premises or if you are going to secure and leave it:

  • Store any possible fuel such as cardboard, tyres, cylinders and waste in a secure, out of sight, locked location. If possible remove it from the premises.
  • Secure rubbish containers and store them at a safe distance from the building.
  • Lock bin room doors.
  • Put down shutters.
  • Remove window displays and all attractive items from view.
  • If you have CCTV, ensure it is activated and the recorded device is in a secure location.
  • Remove all important documents from your building.
  • Ensure there are no gaps, holes or access points in walls or fencing around your business.
  • Lock and secure all windows and doors.
  • Block letterboxes.
  • Park business vehicles in secure garages or locations.
  • Secure external storage areas such as sheds or garages.
  • Ensure all escape routes are clear.
  • If there are flats above your business, ensure their escape route is clear.

Delay dangerous activities

Other precautions that would be sensible during this period of civil disturbance are:

  • Reschedule deliveries of combustible materials (such as cardboard, wood, tyres, gas cylinders).
  • Delay any business activities that have an increased risk of fire.

Make sure legally required fire safety precautions are up to date

All employers and responsible persons have legal requirements to ensure fire safety under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This includes having an up to date fire risk assessment of your buildings. Key actions include making sure that:

  • The fire risk assessment for the premises is up to date and has been acted on.
  • Measures to reduce the risk of fire are in place and are working. 
  • Fire precautions in the building are working, particularly if the premises are provided with a fire alarm, sprinkler system or other fixed installations.
  • The premises emergency plan is up to date and appropriate to ensure evacuation in case of fire without the need for Brigade assistance.
  • Ensure that work that may be carried out to secure the premises does not prevent the use of the necessary means of escape in the event of fire.
  • All staff  know what to do in case of fire.