Working with the Catering & Hospitality Industry
18th February 2016
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The event was hosted by Exeter City Council’s Environmental Health Office, and took place at Jurys Inn, Exeter in late January.  

Simon Martyn from the Exeter protection group got the day started with a presentation on Fire Safety Risk Assessment which was followed by a lively Q&A. Feedback from the audience was positive as Sinone Keough from Base and Barley a recently opened pizzeria in Exeter, commented: “The advice was really good, especially as we are a new business and no one really tells you what you should or shouldn’t do fire safety wise. Opening a new business means there is a lot to think about and some things get over looked. So it’s been a good reminder today, very useful to find out what we needed to focus on as we’re still going through all our paper work at the moment.

“I’ve been doing the fire risk assessment for a while and I now realise it’s a very manageable job. I’ve learned its best to keep it simple, which is hugely valuable information.”

In these competitive times when growth and sustainability are a priority, preventing and safeguarding businesses against financial and commercial loss is of key importance.

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service work closely with businesses throughout the two counties helping them to effectively manage their fire risks, safeguarding their staff, premises, stock – and potentially their livelihood.

Paul Bray, Community Safety Manager said: “One of the benefits of these events is it is a great opportunity to speak to local businesses, and show we are supportive and approachable. There is an assumption that the fire safety assessment is more complicated than it is.

“One of the key points we wanted to make to business owners at this event is that we are able to advise them on the correct way to complete their assessments and put to rest any concerns they may have. Fire safety is important.”

Hannah Pankhurst, works for Artigiano a coffee and wine shop in Exeter said: The presentation made me think about my own supervisors and that I need to spend time training them on the potential fire risks at work, things like not blocking the escape routes.  We do have an escape plan, but recently we’ve had a lot of new staff in so again I need to get some awareness going there.”

Mr Fresher who runs The Café in Exeter said: “I found it fascinating, fire information is something you can never turn your back on. It reminded me of how important it is to revisit our plans and take another look at them to check if they need refreshing.”

Stuart McMillan, Manager from Diamond Care Home said: “As a care home we do have fire safety assessments in place, and recently had a fire safety check. Even so, the day has been a good reminder, as it highlighted some issues that I need to review and will be checking when I get back.  Its information that all businesses need, also being signposted to the right information is of great benefit.”  

Delegate Evaluation Summary

Confidence before and after training

Delegates attending the presentations were invited to evaluate how confident they felt about the subject before and after the training.  Scores were on a scale from 1 (not confident) to 5 (very confident).  A significant shift towards a higher confidence score was observed in all cases.

Fire Safety Risk Assessment




Paul Bray concluded: “This event is a great example of partners delivering targeted messages to the relevant sectors of the business community.  From listening to Detective Sergeant, Rob Backs powerful presentation on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking I have booked him to speak to our own officers at a training event we are holding on May 11.”

The day was divided into three sessions:

Session 1- Property Safety

  • Fire safety risk assessment with Simon Martyn.
  • The duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises from Environmental Health and Licensing Simon Ruddy

Session 2 – Emerging Threats

  • Devon & Cornwall Police on Modern Day Slavery presented by DS Rob Back and Children Sexual Exploitation led by DS Matt Bourne.
  • Counter Terrorism presented by DC Dave Temple.

Session 3 – Public Health Issues

  • Norovirus outbreak management led by Public Health England.
  • E.coli O157 and avoiding cross-contamination in the kitchen led by Environmental Health and Licensing.  
About the Author

Dave B

Member since: 10th July 2012

Hi, I am Dave, I run thebestof Exeter along with my colleagues. If you want to promote your business or event, get in touch with us on 01392 349 130.

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