Our protection work focuses on helping businesses to thrive, making the West Midlands stronger.

We assess high-risk buildings including residential high-rises to ensure public safety and provide reassurance about the risks of fire.

We also advise companies how best to comply with fire safety legislation, to keep staff and customers safe.

If fire does strike, we help them to get back up and running as soon as possible. As a large organisation ourselves, we know the importance of business continuity.

Our protection priorities focus on protecting life and property to make businesses stronger and communities safer:

  • life and property will be protected by targeting high-risk buildings and vulnerable businesses, including residential high-rises, to ensure compliance and enforcement of fire safety legislation
  • improved community safety through implementing outcomes of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety
  • improved community safety through innovative and contemporary approaches to the delivery of protection activities and working cohesively with partners at local, regional and national levels to influence the development of new and enabling legislation
  • prosperity and economic growth are enhanced by educating and supporting businesses, including collaboration with other regulators and partner agencies
  • disruption to businesses, communities and West Midlands Fire Service caused by unwanted fire signals from fire alarms will be reduced.
A red box with Accidental non-domestic fires in 2018/19, followed by 439, written on it.

In 2018/2019 there were 439 accidental fires in non-domestic properties.

Red graphic of a skyline with Fire Safety First written across it.
Graphic of a fire alarm call point with 5,862 false alarms written in it

We attended 5862 false alarms caused by fire alarms systems.

It's our business to help businesses and other organisations keep their staff, residents, visitors and buildings safe from fire.

We do our very best to give clear advice, and to identify where improvements can be made.

In the most serious instances, we take enforcement action – 14 such cases in 2018/19. It’s a last resort, but necessary if lives are in danger.

Anyone with any degree of control over premises is responsible for the safety of anyone who may be affected by a fire. You can be fined or jailed if you don’t ensure people’s safety.

A number of fire risk assessment guides are available online at www.gov.uk.

The results of a suitable and sufficient risk assessment will help you to:

  • identify any fire hazards
  • reduce the risk of hazards causing harm
  • decide what physical fire precautions and management arrangements are necessary to ensure people’s safety if there’s a fire.

A case study example

Three men were jailed over fire safety breaches following a devastating fire at a shisha lounge in Birmingham.

A man and a woman who were trapped by the blaze jumped for their lives from a second-floor window, only to find themselves trapped again and surrounded by flames in a courtyard. Both suffered various injuries and smoke inhalation.

Our fire safety team’s investigation led to three men being jailed for various breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

One was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay nearly £15,000 in costs. The other two were jailed for eight months and ordered to pay costs of £6,000.

A graphic of a city scape with buses, trains and a skyline

Business Support Vehicles

Fire alarms going off when there’s no fire can cost your business money.

They can also mean our firefighters responding unnecessarily when they might be needed for a real emergency somewhere else.

We have three vehicles and a team dedicated to bringing down the number of ‘unwanted fire signals’ from automatic fire alarms, through business engagement, education and support.

Modern-Day Slavery

Modern-day slavery (MDS) can involve people being held in dangerous, fire-trap conditions.

We’ve been involved in a number of multi-agency operations to combat the issue here in the West Midlands.

We also provide an online learning package to help our staff spot the signs of MDS and how to respond if they do.

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