A ROYAL Wootton Bassett business launched a new scheme to improve fire safety which is the first of its kind in the UK.

Assessed Risk just set up sister company The Fire Safety Rating Scheme to help people better understand their fire safety standards and protect their businesses, buildings and employees.

The idea came in response to an increase in businesses wanting to improve their fire safety methods.

Managing director Scott Taylor said: “With over 181,000 fires attended across the UK last year, the risk of fire is real. Working within this industry, it has become apparent that businesses want to do more to protect their themselves and their people.

“By participating in this scheme, our customers can be confident that they are going above and beyond the legal minimum in fire safety standards. We are in conversation with leading insurers to discuss how we can create a partnership where both parties are rewarded.

“The insurer has less risk and our customers are rewarded with lower premiums by being a proactive and safer policyholder.”

Applicants are guided through an online evidence based self-assessment questionnaire that covers areas such as the building structure, internal fittings, and fire safety provisions.

This information is then reviewed by a qualified team of experts to gauge the fire risk levels, and an official Fire Safety Rating from one to five stars is then issued with certification that the applicant can display.

Mr Taylor added: "I was in the fire service for 15 years full-time while working part-time commercially, then in September I decided to leave the service and focus more on business.

"I've undertaken quite a lot of learning and qualifications to get myself accredited and while doing this I recognised a gap in terms of business fire safety.

"Many businesses deal with fire safety efforts in-house which is what I want to help with. Businesses in Swindon have signed up as we've offered it for free for a short time and I hope to take this nationwide."

For more information, visit www.firesafetyrating.co.uk