News Archive 2012

Online fire training launched FREE fire risk assessment quote

This is where you will find archived stories of interest from 2012. All items were originally on the latest news page.

December 2012

Pub Fire Safety Press

Our pub fire safety story is being run by the Morning Advertiser, which is the bible for the pub industry. Each week the magazine is circulated to 32,500 licensees across England and Wales. Morning is the UKs leading on-trade website used by over 80,000 unique users per month.
View the full story...

Liverpool Fire Safety Press

Our Liverpool fire safety report is being run by the Liverpool Daily Post in the Business News section.
View the full story...

Famous Five

The famous five fire safety fines - so common we hear about them nearly every week and yet they can be so easily avoided. In this instance, Martin Mcoll Ltd has had to pay out £21,000 in fines! It all sounds so simple, but it's amazing how many businesses are guilty of the following...

Online Training Press

Lancashire Telegraph ran a piece about our online fire training today, 12/12/12:

Fire Authority Compliance

This case highlights the importance of responding to any requests from the Fire Service within the specified timeframe. When it comes to fire safety, it is always best to try and work with the authorities to reach an agreeable solution, rather than sweep your problems under the carpet, or rather, under the pile of used cardboard stacked behind the fire door. This will only lead to trouble and/or fines in the long run. View case...

November 2012

Sprinkler stop at major distribution centre

A sprinkler activation at a major grocery distribution centre prevented a potentially damaging fire, according to the National Fire Sprinkler Network.

The fire occurred in the aerosol compound of the Tesco grocery distribution depot in Kilsby in Northamptonshire just after 5.00am on 31 October. The compound, situated in the 158,000 m2, 15m high facility, contains highly volatile products and is a lower tier COMAH site.

Two heads activated on the fast response 'in-line' sprinkler system covering the compound and controlled the fire within seconds, it’s reported, with minimal damage. The system is fed by a pump from a stored water facility. There were no injuries and stock in the distribution centre, believed to be worth several million pounds, was unaffected. Source: Info4Fire

SMUK Comment

This incident once again reminds us all of the importance of sprinkler installation for business continuity and emergency planning.

ACO Backs SMUK Warning Over Fire Safety

Our recent report, as featured in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph, revealing that seventy per cent of Lancashire businesses failed fire safety checks last year, has received the backing of the Lancashire Assistant Chief Fire Officer.

Lancashire’s ACO, Dave Russel, said: “There is no satisfaction in seeing people punished for failure to make their premises safe, but it should act as a powerful deterrent for anyone who supposes that ensuring fire safety is an option and not an obligation by law. When it proves necessary to do so, we will take action through the courts.”

With Fire Risk Assessments available from just £195, can you afford to gamble with fire safety?

Ten People Rescued

Ten people have been led to safety by firefighters following a fire in a four-storey residential building in East Kilbride.

On arrival, crews discovered a fire on the second floor with people trapped in the properties above. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the building, taking hosereel jets with them. They quickly dealt with the fire and then made contact with the occupants of the flats before leading them down to safety.

Detective inspector John Shaw of East Kilbride CID said: “This was a terrifying experience for the occupants of the flats, and made even worse by the fact that early investigations have told us that the fire was started deliberately by an unknown person or persons.

"Thankfully, no one was injured in this incident however, if it was not for the swift action of the occupants and the emergency services then we may have been dealing with serious injuries or even fatalities.” Source: Info4Fire

HSE Withdrawal from First Aid

Following the Government's acceptance of the Lofstedt Report, the HSE has now confirmed that the HSE approval system for first aid training providers will end. For the past 30 years, having HSE approval has allowed independent first aid training providers, such as Wren Training to illustrate to customers and potential clients that they delivered high quality training to a recognised standard. Read on...

Chip Shop Fire Risk Assessment

Chip Shop Fire Risk Assessment

Take-aways, under increasing pressure from the double-dip recession, are looking to save money by putting off fire risk assessments and cutting back on vital maintenance and investment in safety measures. This is putting their businesses in danger of a devastating blaze – and at risk of a hefty fine for failing to comply with fire safety laws. Read on...

Fireworks - Explosive Finale

A firework display went badly wrong on Monday evening at a community centre in Edinburgh on a Bonfire Night that was mostly quieter than usual for UK fire services. Organisers of the display in Edinburgh apologised after a ‘freak accident’ saw a rocket misfire and ricochet into the remaining fireworks setting them all off at the same time.

Skyfall - James Bond, Risk Assessor


Last week saw the launch of the new James Bond film, Skyfall - the 23rd film in the spy series and the 3rd to feature Daniel Craig.

Hopefully you've had a chance to see it by now, if not you're in for a treat.

Excitement levels are high throughout. The opening sequence features a car chase which resulted in the destruction of 15 Audis when making it. We hope they did a risk assessment before filming started!

Risk Assessment

Bond is famous for his ability to anticipate situations, making him an excellent risk assessor. We aren't all international spies admittedly, and sometimes it is necessary to bring in outside help in order to accurately assess fire risk, which is where we come in - SM(UK) Branch.

Having a fire risk assessment is the best way to anticipate potential fire safety problems and prevent the sky falling in on your premises. With prices starting from £195, it's less than the cost of that car chase.

October 2012

Conference and Exhibition for Smaller Housing Associations

Hot on the heels of our recent appearance at Fire Sector Summit 2012 we are off to London again on Wednesday 7th November, this time to the Conference and Exhibition for Smaller Housing Associations.

This conference is aimed at all staff from smaller housing associations particularly chief executives, senior staff and board members. It will focus on a wide range of key topics across the housing sector, and we will specifically be sharing and discussing information regarding fire safety within social housing, of which fire risk assessment is the big issue.

It would be lovely to see as many of you there as possible, particularly those of you involved in the housing sector.

It's a great opportunity to consider the challenges you are facing and discuss how to make the best decisions to enhance your business and protect your tenants.

Further details on the event are available here...

Skyfall - James Bond, Risk Assessor


This week sees the launch of the new James Bond film, Skyfall - the 23rd film in the spy series and the 3rd to feature Daniel Craig.

In the new film, Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost. Expectations are high, and comments following the launch premiere are very positive. We at SMUK are very excited!

Risk Assessment

Bond is famous for his ability to anticipate situations, making him an excellent risk assessor. We aren't all international spies admittedly, and sometimes it is necessary to bring in outside help in order to accurately assess fire risk, which is where we come in - SM(UK) Branch.

Having a fire risk assessment is the best way to anticipate potential fire safety problems and prevent the sky falling in on your premises. With prices starting from £195, it's less than the cost of Bond's tuxedo.

Lancashire Telegraph and Chorley Citizen Coverage

Our fire safety audit article has been picked up by the Lancashire Telegraph and Chorley Citizen. It's good that the papers are taking our findings seriously and spreading the word.

Lancashire Telegraph: View here
Chorley Citizen: View here

1970s FPA How to Extinguish Fire Training Film

Please don’t use this as your fire safety training! Things have changed! If you need fire training, give us a ring on 01524 784356.

LEP Coverage

Our fire safety audit article has been picked up by the LEP. Lady GaGa has nothing on us. Everyone wants to write about SMUK! View here

Scottish fire deaths up 10%

Provisional figures from the Scottish Government have shown an increase in fire deaths, despite a 17% reduction in the total number of fires.

Figures for 2011-12 show that there were 57 fatalities, an increase of 5 on the previous year. The total number of fires fell to 32,204, down from 38,970 in 2010-11. More details

Landlord Fails to Keep Tenants Safe From Fire

A fire in a flat at 49 Park Road, St Anne’s on Thursday 2nd December 2010 in which the occupant was fortunate to escape serious injury and a complaint made by local residents and information received from Fylde Borough Council, prompted an inspection by Fire Safety enforcement officers of seven buildings owned by Lytham landlord Mr Neal Gilligan. On 2nd August 2012 at a Plea and Case Management Hearing at Preston Crown Court, the defendant, Mr Neal Gilligan, pleaded guilty to 13 offences. Full story...

Sprinklers Contain Fire

A fire in a clothing store in Newbury has been contained by a sprinkler system. More...

70% Failure Rate

Our revelation that up to 70% of businesses in Lancashire are failing fire safety audits has been carried by the North West Business Insider daily email bulletin. The NWBI bulletin goes out to 30,000 key decision makers and businesses across the North West each day. View the article here...

It was also picked up by British SME, the unique news and feature-led magazine and website dedicated to providing financial information for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). View the article here...

National hotel chain pleads guilty to fire safety offences

Hotel chain Travelodge has been fined £13,000 and ordered to pay 6,500 costs after breaching fire safety law at its Gatwick Airport Central hotel. More...

September 2012

Fire Sector Summit 2012

Fire Sector Summit 2012

We will be appearing at Fire Sector Summit which takes place from 23-24 October 2012, at Wembley Stadium. It is the must-attend fire event of 2012, offering a unique blend of networking, conference, discussion and debate. More...

Means of Escape

Means of Escape

We are now listed in the Means of Escape Directory. It is a leading On-line Fire Safety Magazine dedicated to providing guidance and information in relation to Fire Safety and Risk Assessment. We initially got chatting to Means of Escape via Twitter. View our listing

Pupils Terror as Fire Engulfs School

Terrified pupils at Sawston Village College were in tears as a huge blaze ripped through a building on the site. More...

Owner sentenced for fire safety offences

A judge has described the offences of a takeaway owner in Oldham as “a wake up" for those running a business.

The judgment came at the sentencing of a takeaway owner who put the lives of a four-year-old girl and his staff at risk by committing 11 breaches of the Fire Safety Order. More...

Celebrity Hair Salon Pays £40,000

A West End hair salon owned by celebrity hairdresser Daniel Hersheson has been ordered to pay £40,000 in fines and costs after breaching fire safety laws. More...

Fire Safety Guidance for Care Workers

Care workers in England are getting extra information about fire safety to support their introductory training. More...

Fire Door Maintenance Scheme

A new ‘Q-Mark’ scheme for fire door maintenance has been launched by BM Trada. More...

Young Golfers

Two of our younger members of staff recently attended the Young Professionals Network Event at Ashton Golf Centre on Thursday 30th August. More...

Social Housing Fire Risk Assessment - Practical Guide

As the largest provider of Fire Risk Assessments in the UK, it's fair to say we've learned a thing or two over the past few years. One of the areas we specialise in is social housing, so we've put together a short guide to cover some of the basic issues that often crop up. It's free of charge and we will be releasing a new one each week. Social Housing Fire Risk Assessment Guide

Heysham Atoms Rugby Club

We are proud sponsors of Heysham Atoms Rugby Club and appear in their matchday programme and on their website:

August 2012

Independent Retailers at Risk

Our leader, Brian Gregory, has recently been speaking to Independent Retail News about the risk to independent retailers who are putting off fire risk assessments and cutting back on vital maintenance and investment in safety measures in order to save money. More...

Fire Minister Foresees More Mergers

Fire minister Bob Neill has said that he believes there will be more mergers between services in the months and years to come. We favour sensible mergers...

Merkur Tunnel Fire Rescue Vehicle

The world’s first electric drive tunnel rescue vehicle 'Merkur' with two driver cabins was presented to the press and public for the first time last month. See what you think...

ALMO to Review Safety Measures

An arm’s-length management organisation is considering putting smoke alarms in the communal areas of a 12-storey block after a fire broke out in a children’s play area. Read why we disagree with this strategy...

Unique Kidz & Co - Enterprise Vision Awards

Unique Kidz and Co logo

Denise and Jane from Unique Kidz & Co have been shortlisted down to the final six in two categories of the Enterprise Vision Awards. This is a great opportunity to raise the profile of Unique Kidz & Co, a local charity that we are keen to support.

Denise is in the 'Inspirational Woman Awards' and Jane is in the 'New Business Awards'! They have both attended interviews and answered lots of questions... but now they need your help.

Please click on the link below and vote for them...... then share the link to as many people as you can!!

Beko Fridge Freezer Alert

Cumbria County Council Fire and Rescue Service has issued a warning to owners of Beko fridge freezers purchased between 2000 and 2006 following a kitchen fire last month.

You can easily check if you own one of the faulty models by checking the serial number that can be found on the label inside the fridge. Affected models’ serial numbers begin with 00, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05 or 06 and should be checked against a list at If you do have an affected model, call Beko on 0800 009 4837.

July 2012

Conversation with the Lancashire Fire Authority

Hundreds of people across Lancashire are putting visitors to the county at risk by renting out their homes for major events. More details...

UK Safety Management - cold calling!

Have you been receving sales calls regarding PAT Testing or other safety services? If so, they aren't from us as we don't do cold calling.
The company in question can be found here:

Pub Lease Change Prosecution

A pub landlord has pleaded guilty to eight fire safety offences after failing to understand he had become responsible for fire safety when his lease changed. More details...

Accreditation Plan

A new fire risk assessment certification scheme was officially launched last month and we are looking to be one of the first organisations to gain it. More details...

FIA Campaign to Reduce False Alarms

Do you have a problem with false fire alarms? Is there a business near you whose alarm is always going off?

The Fire Industry Association (FIA) has launched a new section of its website as part of its campaign to reduce false alarms.

The new online section aims to help cut the cost of false alarms to businesses and fire services. The FIA says the vast majority of false alarms come about as a result of poor management issues rather than poor installation.

“It is a common misconception that false alarms are caused by malfunctioning fire alarm systems,” said the FIA’s chief executive officer, Graham Ellicott. “Research by London Fire Brigade suggests that only two per cent of false alarms are attributable to equipment malfunctions or incorrect installation.”. Source: Info4Fire

June 2012

Voice evacuation at Titanic

Titanic Building

A voice evacuation system from Baldwin Boxall has been installed at the iconic Titanic Belfast building.

The attraction – which opened earlier this year – provides an interactive insight into the RMS Titanic with nine galleries going through the life of the ship from its design to its sinking 100 years ago.An eight zone centralised voice evacuation system provides phased evacuation to all areas of the attraction. Inputs to the system include background music, localised paging microphones, multi-zone microphones and all call fire microphones.

A voice evacuation system wouldn't have made much difference on the original Titanic, but it will be really useful at this iconic new building.

A voice alarm system (sometimes referred to as a voice evacuation system) assists in the effective evacuation of an area or building during a fire, bomb alert or other emergency. At all other times a voice alarm system is used to make public address announcements, broadcast advertisements or background music. All broadcasts, be they live announcements or continual music, can be sent to all areas of a site or to selected areas (referred to as zones). Research has proven that in an emergency people will react without confusion or panic if they receive a clear, intelligible message.

ASDA Fined Over £55,000

Asda supermarket has been ordered to pay more than £55,000 in fines and costs after breaching fire safety rules at its Slough store. Full story...

Flintshire Care Home Fire

Firefighters rescued three people, including a resident, after a fire broke out at a Flintshire care home.

Other people at the residential home in New Brighton Road, Mold, had been evacuated by the time firefighters arrived. Two casualties - a care worker and a resident, were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation. A relative of the resident was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.

The fire was confined to a shower room with smoke throughout the first floor. The care worker and resident's relative were rescued from a first floor window, while the resident was helped out of the building using the stairs.

Andy Robb from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: "The smoke alarms at the property alerted the occupants to the fire, enabling other residents to be evacuated from the property prior to our arrival. Source: BBC

Our Comments

A good evacuation plan is essential in this scenario. Thankfully all residents were evacuated in good time. If you are unsure of how to write an evacuation plan for your business, our Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) Training Course is ideal.

Glasgow School Fire

A huge fire that tore through a disused school in Tollcross, East Glasgow, was started deliberately according to Strathclyde Police.

More than 30 firefighters were called to the scene at the former St Mark’s Primary School at 2.13pm and after entering the building with main jets were forced to withdraw due to the intensity of the heat. Two aerial rescue pumps were called to help contain the blaze which eventually destroyed part of the building and left the rest unsafe, meaning it will now need to be completely demolished.

Strathclyde Police described the fire as “wilful fireraising” and reported that three male youths were at the scene when the fire broke out. Det Sgt Roland Craig urged them to come forward “in order that they can be eliminated from this investigation.” Source: Info4Fire

Euro 2012 - Complex Fire Safety Inspection

One of the venues for the Euro 2012 football championships has had its fire protection systems inspected by VdS, the German certification body.

The Warsaw National Stadium will host the opening game, a semi-final and three additional matches with anticipated crowds of 58,000. VdS engineers performed joint plan analyses, routine building inspections and the final on-site approval of around 30,000 sprinklers with 37 alarm valve stations as well as 16 gas extinguishing systems at the 204,000m2 complex.

"The gas extinguishing systems, installed in the stadium's large screens at a height of 60 metres, posed a particular challenge – not only technical, but also logistical,” said Thomas Afeltowicz-Schultz, head of the Polish VdS subsidiary in Warsaw. “Among other things, we flooded them completely while the VdS laboratories measured concentrations.” Source: Info4Fire

Welsh Residential Sprinkler Regulations

Regulations for the fitting of sprinkler systems to all new and converted residential properties in Wales will be introduced in September 2013. Full story...

Dale Williams Joins the Team

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dale Williams to our team. As Head of Operations, Dale will play a major role in our work as we look to continue our development and growth as a national business. Dale's appointment has attracted interest from the press - Read all about it...

Lancashire Business View

Our leader, Brian Gregory, is profiled in the May/June issue of Lancashire Business View in the Lancashire Leaders section. Read all about it...

Lancaster University Management School

We are proud to be the Lancaster University Management School Business of the Month, plus Brian has taken on a new role through LUMS. Exciting times at Safety Management (UK)! Read all about it...

May 2012

British Forces School Partially Destroyed

A school for children of British forces in Germany has been severely damaged in a blaze.

More than 100 firefighters tackled the blaze at the Sir John Mogg primary school in Detmold, Germany on Sunday 29 April, according to British Forces News. Full story...

Blaze Hits Williams F1 Team

A large fire devastated the Williams team garage around 90 minutes after the end of the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona on Sunday.

The blaze was brought under control by members of the Williams, Caterham and Force India teams, helped by circuit fire services. Full story...

The Knock-on Effects of Fire

A fire in a chemical plant in Germany on 31 March barely made the headlines when it tragically killed two workers, but the world of motoring has begun to sit up and pay attention as a shortage of a vital chemical has set in. Polyamide 12 (PA-12), made from cyclododecatriene (CDT) is an important chemical for the production of plastic parts used by the motoring industry, and it is estimated that Marl Chemical Park produced between a quarter and half of the world’s supply of this material. Full story...

Italian Job Rescue

The fire brigade had to carry out an Italian Job-style rescue for a motorist trapped in his van as it dangled off motorway bridge and with a pedestrian walkway beneath. The van ended up with its rear end hanging off the road after colliding with a car and smashing through a barrier. The incident happened on Tuesday 1 May at around 2.40pm at junction 26 of the M60 in Stockport, Greater Manchester. Full story...

April 2012

Mayor Rescues Neighbour From Blaze

A New Jersey city mayor is playing down his role rescuing a neighbour from a blaze as he returned home on Thursday night. Newark mayor Cory Booker admitted he thought he might die as he ran through the smoke filled house in search of the woman, Zina Hodge. But he insisted that he had just done what any neighbour would do. Full story...

Leicester factory fires result in arrest

Businesses were destroyed as Leicester was ravaged by two huge factory fires over the weekend.

The first fire broke out on Frisby Road at around midday on Saturday, and quickly spread to engulf five textile factory buildings. By the time the fire was under control and damping down underway, another broke out at the former Corah textiles plant off St John Street. The separate incidents stretched Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Service’s resources to capacity.

A 17-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the second fire at the Corah plant, while fire services have confirmed that the earlier fire was not suspicious. Source: Info4Fire

Fire destroys millionaire's island retreat

Fire has partially destroyed a millionaire’s island retreat on Green Island, near Poole in Dorset.

The four-storey timber-framed building was still under construction when a fire broke out on Friday morning. Fire crews required the assistance of Poole Harbour Commissioners to help them carry two appliances over to the island on barges. Members of the RNLI were also on standby to ensure fire crews remained ‘water safe’.

The fire was brought under control using four light portable pumps to bring sea water up to the scene of the fire. A water tank on the island was also available.

The island was bought for £2.5m by Edward llife in 2005, and he received planning permission two years ago to build a property there. Mr Iliffe said that the house – which was praised by conservationists for its environmentally friendly credentials – could be rebuilt “relatively painlessly”. Source: Info4Fire

Sprinkler Pizza Topping

Around 420 people were evacuated from a food production factory after a pizza on a conveyor belt caught fire.

Although the fire service was called, a sprinkler system was said to have extinguished the fire. Firefighters inspected a pizza oven with a thermal imaging camera to check it was safe before leaving the scene.

Two fire engines and ten firefighters attended the incident in Harrow. It is not known what toppings the pizza had! Source: Info4Fire

Myth Busters - The Case of the Seagull

The HSE’s new independent Myth Busters Challenge Panel’s first decision concerned the response of London Fire Brigade (LFB) firefighters, called on 7 April by the RSPCA to reports of a trapped seagull on Carshalton Ponds in Greater London. Apparently, a member of the public had spotted the bird struggling to free itself from a plastic bag. Full story...

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Good job, very nice people and happy with the work SMUK do for us (Bank of China)

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