MORE than 30 premises in the city centre have been issued with enforcement action notices after failing to meet fire safety standards, the Worcester News can reveal.

Hereford and Worcester Fire Rescue Service (HWFRS) recently carried out inspections at 165 premises, with the owners at 37 of them ordered to carry out improvements to their fire provisions.

The fire service has not said where the 37 premises are, and it is unclear if they are all business premises or if some are accommodation.

A HWFRS spokesman said the enforcement action ensures that improvements to fire provisions are made for public safety. The spokesman said the visits had taken place to “ensure that people visiting the city and staff working within those premises are kept safe from the risk of fire,” adding the ultimate aim was to ensure the city is “as safe as it can be”.

Amy Bailey, station commander from the HWFRS community risk department, said: “Tragedies like Grenfell have really put into focus the horrific consequences of fire. We are continually working to ensure that, as well as providing education and support, we are doing all we can to ensure compliance with fire safety regulations.

“As part of this work we have recently undertaken a programme of visits to Worcester city centre shops.

“It is important to remember that the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 has been in place for many years now and it places the responsibility on business owners and landlords of non-domestic premises to ensure that everyone on their premises can escape safely in the event of fire.

“We have so far inspected 165 premises in the city centre, only 37 of which have resulted in enforcement action to ensure that improvements to fire provisions are made for public safety.”

Before the inspections the fire service held a drop-in advice session at the Guildhall, with inspectors working closely with the businesses to guide them on how they could ensure they were meeting safety standards.

The Home Office says all fire and rescue authorities must have in place a risk-based inspection programme to ensure buildings comply with fire safety standards, with £2.3 billion provided to them for the period of 2019 to 2020 to carry out this work.

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