Consultancy and compliance group ICG has introduced a “comprehensive” new fire safety audit following a spate of deadly factory fires in Bangladesh, Pakistan and China.

The new audit, claimed as the first of its kind for the consumer products manufacturing sector, examines a range of issues including factory exits and fire drills, firefighting equipment, alarms systems, electrical, chemical and dust hazards and dormitory safety.

“There have been four deadly factory fires in the past three months: two in Bangladesh, one in Pakistan and one in China, with over 150 deaths,” said Gil Llanes, ICG CEO.

“Our clients are pulling their hair out in frustration that these fires continue one after the next.

“They asked us to find out exactly what’s going on in their supplier facilities, so we’re starting audits this week on their behalf.”

Steve Jesseph, ICG COO and former CEO of the Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) programme, said that reports suggested there was no fire extinguisher at the scene of the latest fire, and that the only building exit was locked.

“That’s a recipe for disaster,” he said. “The WRAP programme has an excellent fire safety training programme, but until we actually go to the factories and see how well prepared they are – or are not – we don’t know what kind of real training they need, or what kind of remediation needs to be done.”