‘Think fire safety’ – plea to West Midlands businesses

Businesses across the West Midlands are being urged to 'think fire safety' and review their fire risk assessments after Netherton factory fire

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Published on 26 September 2023

Businesses large and small across the West Midlands are being urged to ‘think fire safety’ following a devastating fire at a factory in Netherton on Friday 15 September.

At the height of the incident, 30 fire engines and more than 100 firefighters were tackling the blaze.

The incident was brought to a safe conclusion, but not before extensive damage was caused to the bakery processing plant.

Jason Holt

Group Commander

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Regulations around fire safety are there to protect not only your business, your premises, your equipment and stock but, critically, your staff and visitors.
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An aerial photograph of the Netherton Factory Fire.

Now, West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) is urging business owners to consider fire safety precautions at their own premises. These include business continuity planning and fire risk assessments.

Jason Holt, Group Commander at West Midlands Fire Service said: “Anyone who has seen the images of the Netherton fire couldn’t fail to be shocked at the extent of the devastation. Fortunately, all staff were safely evacuated. However, the consequences of a fire of any size can be wide-ranging, whatever the size or nature of your business.

“Being aware of these can help prevent fires in the first instance, but also keep you safe if fire breaks out.”

WMFS has urged business owners to review their fire risk assessments regularly.

“Fire risk assessments are a legal requirement for workplaces. We have plenty of advice on our website about how to conduct them and minimise the risks of fire at your premises. Our fire crews can also work with you, to advise on fire safety during one of our free ‘Safe and Strong’ visits.”

For more information about the help and support available to businesses from WMFS, please check out these pages on our website:

Safe and Strong visits.
This is a free advisory service, available to every business across the West Midlands conurbation, designed to help you protect your staff, buildings and contents safe.

Fire Risk Assessment guidance
Fire Risk Assessments are a legal requirement for workplaces. We can’t complete a fire risk assessment for you, but we can provide advice and guidance.

Report a fire safety issue
You can report a fire safety issue at a workplace, commercial, business and multiple residency premises here.