Santa arrives in Bedford to spread fire safety message

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Yes, there’s still 15 Saturdays until Christmas, but according to fire fighters it’s never too early to check shops will be safe for customers.

The Bedfordshire Fire and Resuce Service persuaded Father Christmas to take a break from making toys at the North Pole to visit Bedford as part of its “Keep it simple, keep it safe this Christmas” campaign.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service take Santa to Bedford PNL-150809-113838001

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service take Santa to Bedford PNL-150809-113838001

He helped Fire Safety Officers carry out a number of audits of businesses in Bedford and across the county to ensure retailers are ready for a safe holiday season.

Head of Prevention and Protection John Foolkes said: “This is the time of year when businesses are thinking about recruiting additional seasonal staff and producing and storing extra stock in the run up to Christmas.

“This makes it a great time to ensure everyone knows the “SIMPLE” fire safety measures to protect themselves, their colleagues and customers, and ultimately the business.

“Our message to local businesses is that you should self-audit your fire safety arrangements on a monthly basis during the build up to Christmas.”

“We hope that working together; we can help local retailers and other businesses to reduce their risk of fire, protecting their staff, customers, buildings and resources.”

Fire Safety Officers regularly carryout pre-Christmas inspections to ensure adequate fire safety measures are in place at a time when stock levels are high, new temporary staff have been employed and the siting of advertising material and Christmas decorations can materially increase the risk from fire

The service is also providing businesses with information to help managers ensure their safety measures are up to scratch, and includes this “SIMPLE” advice:

· Store stock safely: keep corridors, stairs and exits clear

· Identify alarm points so you can warn others

· Make sure doors are closed to stop fires from spreading

· Place things that catch fire away from things that cause fire

· Let someone know if you spot fire safety problems

· Ensure everyone knows what to do if a fire alarm sounds