CDS plays key role in retail fire safety as High Streets celebrate record growth

News | July 2021

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As High Streets celebrate their most successful quarter on record, CDS has been playing a key role in enabling retail chains and shops to adapt to the removal of Covid restrictions this month.

The fire detection and life safety specialist has been working with major retailers across the UK to make sure they are safe and compliant as the end of the social distancing rule increases the capacity of their stores.

Retailers from Holland and Barratt to JD Sports are among those to benefit from CDS’ 30 plus years of expertise in fire safety as their outlets are reconfigured to adapt to the return to ‘normality.’

The fire safety work has coincided with a spectacular boom in sales, according to figures released by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which show trade from April to June was up 28.4% on the same period last year and 10.4% on spring 2019.

While CDS can’t claim to be behind the revenue boost, its skill and experience ensures customers and staff are safe and that retailers comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO), a legal requirement for all non-domestic premises.

The work has involved carrying out fire risk assessments for stores, shopping centres,  retail parks and distribution centres which, until this month, had to reconfigure their layouts to facilitate social distancing.

In addition to carrying out the assessments, CDS has been designing, installing, and maintaining life safety systems for its retail clients.

While the relaxation of the Covid rules is good news from a footfall point of view, reverting to pre-pandemic store layouts means retailers have been obliged to undertake or commission a further fire risk assessment for each outlet, as a new one needs to be carried out every time changes are made to a building.

CDS managing director Simon Abley said: “The lifting of restrictions is, on the one hand, excellent news for retailers who can look forward to selling to more customers and continuing the spending boost they have enjoyed for the past few months.

“On the flip side, some people may prefer to stay away from shops where social distancing and mask wearing are a matter of personal choice rather than a legal requirement. The responsibility for ensuring their customers feel comfortable lies with the retailer, while our role is to ensure shoppers and staff are protected from a fire safety point of view.

“It’s also worth reminding retail chains that they need to ensure the fire alarms and extinguishers in every one of their outlets have been tested and are compliant with British Standards. This is another service which we’ve been very busy providing for our retail clients over the past few months as restrictions ease.”

CDS has more than 30 years’ experience of providing fire risk assessments  and designing, installing and miantaining fire safety systems to an extensive client base including retail warehouses, distribution centres, shopping centres and stores.

“High Bridge, High Street, Lincoln” by Lincolnian (Brian) is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0