East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is urging businesses to make sure their profits and their futures don’t go up in smoke this Christmas.
It says during tough economic times, Christmas can be a make or break time for many small businesses and help them onto a firmer financial footing.
But a major fire or other serious incident can be catastrophic – figures from the British Insurers Brokers’ Association show that four out of five companies fail to recover and close within 18 months.
That is why the fire service is urging small companies in East Sussex to check their fire safety measures and have a back-up business continuity plan to help them get back on their feet and trading if disaster does strike.
Head of business safety Richard Fowler said, “Small businesses are vital to our local economy providing growth and employment opportunities for thousands of people. In East Sussex alone, 88 per cent of businesses employ ten or fewer people. The failure of any one of these firms could have huge knock on effects – putting staff out of work and piling pressure on suppliers.
“It’s a sad fact that many businesses, including some large ones, don’t make preparations for a major unplanned event like a fire or flood and struggle to cope when it happens. Your business continuity plan should address all the things that could realistically happen to your company and some simple measures to help you deal with each scenario. If you think your business doesn’t need a business continuity plan, then think again.
“If you are a small business owner looking to buy or rent new premises, consider whether sprinklers are fitted. Sprinklers can dramatically reduce the damage caused by fire.”
Further safety advice to keep businesses safe is available on www.esfrs.org/businessSafety/ or www.esfrs.org/businessSafety/contactUs.Information about protecting businesses and putting together a business continuity plan is available at www.sussexemergency.info