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Warning over portable heaters as fire service attends two incidents at business premises

Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service has issued a warning over the use of portable heaters after dealing with two calls to licensed premises.

There have also been several fires across the county of fires in residential gardens as people use barbecues, patio heaters and fire pits to allow outdoor socialising in cool weather.

In one of the incidents, at a hotel in in Hunstanton, a gas canister from a patio heater ignite while placed under a gazebo, and in another, a patio heater caught fire in a marquee outside a pub near Aylsham.

The fire service has issued a warning.
The fire service has issued a warning.

Accidents in the last week have led to fires spreading to sheds, fences and homes, according to a spokesman for the service.

Group Manager of the fire service, Jon Wilby said: “It is great news for Norfolk and for businesses that life is starting to return to normal. As pubs and restaurants are currently operating outside, many will have changed the layouts of their outdoor space or may be using temporary structures with heaters of some kind.

"In recent days we have attended two incidents where outdoor heaters have caused fires. Thankfully the damage was minimal and there were no injuries.

Business owners are being advised to:

  • Ensure they have reviewed their fire risk assessments if you have changed layout or use, including the temporary structure risk assessment for outdoor events at https://www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/Event-safety
  • Make sure any outdoor heaters are correctly installed and that you have followed the manufacturers guidance for use.
  • Check servicing and maintenance on all heating appliances.
  • Position heaters away from flammable objects.
  • Ensure there is adequate signage and lighting for escape routes.
  • Make sure any temporary structures are fire retardant.
  • Use and store gas bottles in line with the appropriate code of practice.

Business owners needing fire safety advice can contact the community fire protection team on 0300 123 1669, who will gladly offer support during a time of great challenge to Norfolk’s businesses.

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