Top 10 Tips for
the Retail Sector

This article looks at the Top 10 Tips for the Retail Sector 2024. What can retailers do to minimise the chance of a fire occurring? Fire Risk Consultancy Services have put together these handy hints and tips to help steer you in the right direction.

Number 1

Carry Out A Fire Risk Assessment

A fire risk assessment plays a fundamental part in any fire safety plan and is a legal requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 so it’s wise to make this one of your first steps.

This will help you recognise any potential issues and develop an emergency plan to determine what should happen in the event that a fire breaks out in your store. It will identify any hazards which need to be removed and any risks which need to be reduced. When you have had a fire risk assessment carried out it must be suitable and sufficient and will highlight crucial actions required if a fire within the retail premises occurs.

Fire Risk Consultancy Services can provide a fully-qualified and highly-experienced fire risk assessor so the risk of fire will be correctly identified, minimised and a plan put in place.

Number 2

Escape Routes

These can become temporarily blocked during deliveries. Once the delivery is finished clear the exit routes and move stock to the appropriate area/room. Make it part of your role to ensure fire exits are never blocked.

Final fire exits – Check every day that the doors can open freely and any obstructions removed – a ‘Fire Exit Keep Clear’ sign should be displayed on the outer face of the door.

Number 3

Avoid Wedging Fire Doors Open

It may be tempting to prop a door open, for example, if the weather is hot or you are unloading stock, but fire doors exist for a reason: to prevent the spread of fire and smoke so the fire is easier to tackle and so that people can evacuate safely.

Number 4

Electrical Intake Cupboards

These are not store cupboards!

Regular checks should be made to ensure they are kept clear and locked shut.

Number 5

Fire Safety Training

If you employ staff in your shop, make sure they receive fire safety training and are aware of your fire emergency plans. 

Ensure all staff (including temporary and seasonal staff) are fully aware of the fire evacuation plan and that they are involved in at least one fire drill per year.

Number 6


Remove any empty boxes and other combustible items and ensure stock is not stacked too close to heat sources such as lighting or heaters nor obstructing corridors, walkways, or doors. Ensure packaging waste is stored in a safe area away from fire risk and malicious acts of vandalism or arson.

Number 7


Take care in the staff room or canteen when using electrical appliances. Where toasters are used make sure they are regularly cleaned out of crumbs and are kept away from notice boards and other paperwork. Whilst in use they should not be left unattended.

Number 8

Automatic Detection / Sprinkler Heads

Avoid storing stock too close to these as they will not work as designed. A minimum space of 45cm /18 inches should exist between the top box and the head for the system to work effectively.

Number 9

Maintain And Test

A regime of periodic testing and maintenance is essential and a legal requirement to ensure compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. To create a good safety culture, regular tests of the fire safety systems and equipment should be implemented and recorded.

Number 10

Space On The Shop Floor

A crowded shop is good for sales, but a nightmare for fire safety. If customers are jostling for space, or queuing for escalators or lifts, there are probably too many people in the store to safely evacuate. Customer safety is part of your responsibility whilst they are in your building so good fire safety management is paramount.

Please note that this article provides basic easy-to-understand guidance on fire safety provisions and the key fire safety information required to comply with legislation. Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. We aim to assist you to understand the fire-related terms within your Fire Risk Assessment.  It does not provide detailed technical guidance on all fire safety provisions, and you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.

Fire Risk Consultancy Services have the knowledge and experience to assist your business to comply with all legal requirements surrounding fire safety including legislation. Be sure to read our accompanying guides: Fire Alarm System Types, Fire Extinguishers, Emergency Lighting, Fire Doors, and Fire Safety Signs, also published on this site. 

Please take a moment to have a look around our website where you will find related articles and guides to all the services we can provide your business with, from providing fire risk assessments, fire safety training, advisory services to Articles on Fire Safety Provisions and our Top Fire Safety Tips!