"It makes sense to take extra precautions at this time to prevent a tragedy at your premises," says a statement from the ever-more proactive Association of Cycle Traders.
"If there is a fire, the reduced emergency force may not be able to get to you quickly and if no life is at risk, you may slip right down the list of priorities."
The ACT has issued a ten-point checklist.
1 Make sure all staff, from the cleaner upwards, knows where the fire exits are.
2 Hold a fire drill so that all staff are familiar with evacuation procedures.
3 Check fire-exit signs and keep all doors free from obstacles.
4 Shop staff must know evacuation procedure for customers, with extra attention for any customers with special needs.
5 Make sure that all rubbish is safely contained and stored away from exits.
6 All workshop litter to be cleared immediately and safely stored
7 All flammable material should be safely contained and stored away from exits
8 Check all smoke alarms or other alarms systems are fully operational
9 Check fire-fighting equipment is adequate and in full working order. Ensure that all staff know the location of each piece of equipment.
10 Any areas where smoking is allowed should be strictly monitored.
"All businesses should have a Risk Assessment, including one for fire and if you have so far failed to draw one up, now is a perfect time," continues the ACT statement.
The first of the ACT Business Health Checks covers Health & Safety at Work and includes the outline of a fire risk assessment available free to ACT members.
Plus: it's not yet finished but check out the new ACT website, http:www.act-bicycles.com
Trade passwords are the reverse of BikeBiz.co.uk ie 'enter' and then 'presta'.
ACT members should contact ACT HQ for the temporary password for the members-only area. By 2nd January this part of the site will be accessible by typing in the ACT membership number.
PIC SENT IN BY PITSFORD CYCLES.