BUSINESSES in Somerset are being urged to make sure their premises are fire safe by St John Ambulance chiefs.

In the 2010-11 financial year, 19 people died in the UK in workplace fires, the first aid organisation said.

Fire marshal Pam Harris, a trainer for St John Ambulance, said: “It is vital to prevent unnecessary deaths.

“While we do this by equipping people with life-saving first aid skills, we also want to guard against loss of life by educating people in how to avoid fires occurring. Nineteen deaths a year as a result of workplace fires is 19 too many.”

St John Ambulance has prepared a free online tool for businesses which calculates how many fire marshals are needed for a business dependent on its size – visit for details.

Pam said: “We aim to make it as easy as possible for employers to meet legislation and protect the wellbeing of their staff.

“The average cost to a business that experiences a fire is £50,000 which is a terrifying thought but there’s really no price you can put on a life.

“Our message to employers is that we’re here to help you assess your needs and train up your team to meet them.”

For details of first aid courses for businesses in Somerset, visit or call 0844-324-5535.