Cheshire is the nation’s 2nd safest place to open a business new fire survey reveals

fire survey
  • Over 5,000 fires were attended in offices, warehouses and factories across England and Wales over the past 3 years
  • Bedfordshire is the nation’s most dangerous spot with the highest chance of a workplace fire at 0.65%
  • West Sussex found to be the safest region in England and Wales with only 0.04% of its businesses requiring emergency fire services with Cheshire and the West midlands a close second at 0.06%

New data from all England and Wales fire and rescue services has revealed that Bedfordshire had the most fires in offices, factories, and warehouses per business.

The data comes from the National Fire Survey 2019 created by health and safety eLearning provider, DeltaNet International. The survey analysed data from all 46 fire and rescue services in England and Wales.

The statistics were sourced through a series of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests asking how many fires were attended to, from April 2015 to October 2018, in offices, factories, and warehouses.

The top 10 most dangerous regions for fires in England and Wales were*:

  • Bedfordshire (0.65%)
  • Tyne and Wear (0.63%)
  • Staffordshire (0.60%)
  • Merseyside (0.53%)
  • Northamptonshire (0.42%)
  • Dorset & Wiltshire (0.41%)
  • Humberside (0.39%)
  • Derbyshire (0.38%)
  • Cambridgeshire (0.38%)
  • Devon and Somerset (0.36%)

The top 10 safest regions least likely for a business to catch fire were*:

  • West Sussex (0.04%)
  • Cheshire (0.06%)
  • West Midlands (0.06%)
  • Surrey (0.09%)
  • Lancashire (0.1%)
  • Hereford and Worcestershire (0.1%)
  • Gloucestershire (0.12%)
  • Norfolk (0.12%)
  • Greater London (0.14%)
  • Oxfordshire (0.14%)

With a number of the fires being caused by electrical issues in workplaces, Angela Murphy of leading safety charity, Electrical Safety First explained the dangers businesses face:

“Whatever your business size or sector – and whether you work in an office or from your own home –  you will use electricity. It is so much a part of our modern world that it is easy to take it for granted. Attention to health and safety is not simply about being socially responsible – it also makes good business sense. Taking the time to establish a effective electrical safety procedure can not only ensure that your business meets legal requirements, it can also reduce insurance costs, help with accident prevention and improve the working environment. Electricity is a great servant and a bad master. Make sure you put it in its proper place – as an important element of your health and safety audit.”

Darren Hockley, MD of health and safety eLearning provider, DeltaNet International who undertook the research, said:

“How should an employer measure the impact of a fire in the workplace? There is the obvious risk to health, and even lives; then there is the disruption to day-to-day business activity. Without an effective business continuity plan in place, a fire will often force organisations out of business. Even if it does survive, what about the damage to their reputation? This is why it’s crucial for employers to conduct effective fire risk assessments of the workplace, and to educate employees on best practice and fire safety procedure, keeping everyone in the loop to reduce risk as much as possible.”

For more information about the National Fire Survey, including all raw data from all fire services in England and Wales, please visit:

*Percentages were calculated using the number of fires in offices, warehouses and factories compared against the number of businesses in that region according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

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