Firefighters have issued advice for anyone who lives above a food outlet as they could be at further risk in case of the event of a fire.

Often places such as takeaway, cafes and restaurants have upper or lower floors where people live and the fire service say that 'direct access via a single unprotected staircase' either from a public or kitchen area can greatly increase the risk of someone being injured.

A spokesperson for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "Businesses such as fast-food outlets, takeaways, cafés and restaurants often have upper floors and basements used for sleeping accommodation, with direct access via a single unprotected staircase from the public or kitchen areas of the property.

"Should a fire happen, these conditions greatly increase the risk of someone being injured or even killed.

"It is therefore important that you have the right fire safety arrangements to protect the lives of you, your family, employees and customers, but also your property and your business."

The Regulatory Reform Order 2005 is the fire safety law that applies to a business which holds the business owner responsible for carrying out a fire risk assessment to protect people using the premises from the risk of fire.

The Building Safety Act 2022 – Section 156 came into effect on October 1 2023 and imposes new fire safety laws on businesses and building owners.

The main changes are as follows:

  • A written fire risk assessment and fire safety arrangements, regardless of the size or purpose of the business or premises.
  • Enhanced requirements for cooperation and coordination
  • Provision of information to residents

For more information on how to ensure your businesses and property meets the regulations visit