Fire risk minimisation: Code of Practice for the Food Industry Supported by Insurers (Nov 2007)

A new food industry Code of Practice on Fire Risk Minimisation has been published by the Insurers’ Fire Research Strategy Scheme (‘InFiReS’), in association with the Association of Insurers and Risk Managers in Commerce (‘AIRMIC’) and the Food Industry Panels Group (‘FIPG’).

The Code has the support of the UK insurance industry. It updates the previous guidance published in 2003 by the FIPG – a broad consortium of trade associations in the food manufacturing, storage and distribution sectors led by the Chilled Food Association (CFA). Designed to provide advice across all the various sectors of the food industry, the new Code of Practice aims to establish a generic property loss control standard that companies can aspire to in the expectation that damage caused by fire will be kept to a minimum.

Fire has been and continues to be one of the major issues facing the food manufacture, storage and distribution industries in the UK. This new Code updates the approach that individual companies must take to ensure that they are fully compliant with legislative requirements and provides guidance on fire risk minimisation in both new and existing structures, which is required by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which came into force in 2006.

The new Code of Practice covers the following areas:

o Compliance with legislation and management of fire risks;

o The minimisation of fire risk – core requirements including permits to work and maintenance;

o Minimisation of fire risk – equipment and materials including construction, composite panels and specific production processes;

o Fire protection and detection equipment;

o Emergency response and contingency planning;

o Appendices – housekeeping, fire checklist, work permits, approved
suppliers and installers of approved composite panels;

o Further reading and information.

Kaarin Goodburn, CFA’s Secretary General, in welcoming the new Code of Practice said, “CFA was instrumental in developing the original FIPG guidance which was prepared to address the problems experienced by the food industry in obtaining fire insurance. We welcome and endorse this new publication which has full Code of Practice status and which is a milestone in having the support of the UK insurance industry.”

Derek Mason, Group Risk and Insurance Manager at Uniq plc, said, “It was always the intention that once we had completed the first edition of FIPG guidance we would seek insurers’ full support for the approach. I am delighted to say this has now been achieved. When the property insurance market next hardens this Code should give property risk managers ammunition to counter the wilder excesses and nonsensical demands of some insurers that were previously seen.”

Fire Risk Minimisation Guidance for the Food Industry is available to order from the FPA website priced £15.00 or £12.00 for FPA members. It is also available as a free download to CFA members at www.chilledfood.organd to gold and silver FPA members at

For further information about this publication please contact Kaarin Goodburn at the Chilled Food Association (CFA) on 01536 514365 or Dominic Louks at the Fire Protection Association (FPA) on 01608 812513.