In textile factories, few risks can cause as much devastation as fire. Almost all textile products will burn easily and many textile factories contain large quantities of combustible goods. Stock and equipment can be destroyed in a short time, and employees put at risk. Many small firms that suffer a serious fire never reopen.In response to this, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) together with the Textiles Industry Advisory Committee (TEXIAC) have launched a new free leaflet setting out the risks from fire to people working in small textile and clothing factories.The leaflet ‘Fire Safety in Small Textile Factories – a brief guide for employers’ is aimed at all employers and employees in textiles firms and gives advice on how to control fire risk on these premises. It outlines the steps needed to comply with legal requirements and minimise risks of fire in textiles work.TEXIAC chairman Andrew Porter said: “This leaflet will be particularly useful to all small to medium textile and clothing firms. In safety terms it points both employers and employees in the right direction on use and storage of textile goods and how to minimise potential risk on a daily basis.”He added: “We have had the leaflet translated into a number of ethnic minority languages which should help to increase awareness of fire issues in the many small textile clothing enterprises undertaken in our ethnic communities”.The leaflet is part of the general updating of advice and guidance for textile and clothing firms. It is intended that a more detailed publication ‘Fire Precautions in the Clothing and Textiles Industries’ will be published in the early autumn.

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