020 31241 632

Request a Quote Just fill in your details below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can!

What happens next?

1. We get back in touch
A member of our team will quickly get back to you to discuss your enquiry in more detail.
2. Free site visit
If it will help decide on the best way to proceed with your enquiry, one of our team will make a free visit to your premises to assess your requirements.
3. Free quotation
We’ll send you a free quotation for the work, and because we always aim to beat other quotes, you can be sure it will be very competitive.
4. We carry out the work
We'll send an engineer to carry out the work as soon as we can. This will be very soon for maintenance and fire extinguishers, and a few weeks for full alarm systems.

Begin your search:

Common Fire Hazards for Retail Environments

Common Fire Hazards for Retail Environments

Indeed, retail environments need to be more stringent than most when it comes to identifying fire hazards, as there are often many more members of the public on the premises than with other businesses. Shops and other retail premises often feature noticeably in fire loss statistics, with more serious blazes responsible for a huge amount of lost business for small to medium businesses across the UK each year.

Common Hazards in Shops

A fire hazard could manifest itself in a number of different ways. Anything that represents a source of ignition, fuel or oxygen that is left exposed could be a threat, as can any item that obstructs evacuation in any manner.

Shops that stock highly flammable goods – off-licences, sports equipment, those supporting industries that deal with fuels and other combustible materials – should be extra cautious.

Any kind of waste packaging or other refuse that builds up inside or outside a building could be considered a combustible hazard, while simultaneously providing a potential obstruction to either escape from the building or for emergency vehicles attending the blaze.

Any portable electrical equipment used within the retail environment requires regular PAT testing by a qualified professional to ensure that no fire can be caused through electrical malfunctioning. Similarly, making sure that all fixed wiring is carried out correctly during installation or repair work will eradicate a number of potential issues further down the line.

Kitchen areas within shops, while not as big a focus as in the catering/hospitality industries, can still present an obvious fire hazard. Negligence while using an open flame or hot cooking oil is a serious danger, while blocked filters and ventilation areas can see a buildup of combustible materials in close proximity to a source of ignition.

Avoiding Hazards

As well as being a requirement by law, carrying out a fire risk assessment is also the best way to safeguard a retail environment from the common hazards that lead to a fire. Being able to identify these hazards and taking steps to remove them is largely what the assessment is all about, as stipulated in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.

The designated ‘responsible person’ should carry out inspections of all evacuation routes, fire safety equipment (extinguishers, alarm tests etc.) and keep a vigilant eye out for any workplace hazards. In the retail environment, this could include overloaded plug sockets, poorly maintained kitchen equipment, smoking areas that are not a sufficient distance from the building and more.

Arson is still the number one cause of fires in retail environments, so extra attention should be paid to security. This means the inclusion of not only deterrents such as CCTV cameras and visible security guards, but also making sure that all external waste is stored in a secure place that cannot easily be accessed, such as a locked and gated wheelie bin area. Don’t allow waste to build up outside the retail premises – have a system in place whereby refuse is regularly collected.

A combination of common sense and compliance with the laws and regulations governing fire safety is the best way to avoid a potentially fatal blaze within a shop or retail environment. Clearly indicated emergency exits and properly maintained fire safety equipment are vital when there is likely to be a high concentration of public footfall.

Scutum London has been helping shops, shopping centres and other retail environments with their fire safety needs for years. We provide the kind of expert assistance that can ensure you’re keeping your staff and customers safe and staying in line with all current legislation and guidelines. 

Get in touch with us now to find out more.

Request a Callback

Just fill in your details below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can!

Scutum London Logo

About Scutum London

Scutum London is a leading expert in fire safety and security solutions for businesses and organisations located across South East England, including London and Surrey.

From fire alarms, fire extinguishers and fire risk assessments to access control, CCTV and intruder alarm systems – and a lot more besides – we offer a comprehensive range of products and services designed to keep you, your business and your staff and visitors safe.

With decades of industry experience to call on, we’re proud to hold accreditations from leading trade associations and bodies such as British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE), the British Fire Consortium, the Fire Industry Association (FIA) and Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).

If you’d like to find out more about Scutum London, get in touch with our friendly team or explore our products and services on our site.


This website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience and deliver personalised ads. By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.

More Information Accept All Cookies