Fire destroys Oxfordshire landmark and offices

A seventeenth-century thatched barn, thought to be the longest in Britain at one hundred metres, was destroyed by a huge blaze at the weekend. The Grade II listed building, valued at nearly £5 million, accommodated the offices of an energy company. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

As well as reducing the landmark building to a pile of smouldering timber and ashes, the fire also causes severe disruption to the village it had been an integral part of for hundreds of years: the main road was closed, power supplies were disrupted and the nearby manor and other buildings were put at great risk.

In this case, the cost of the fire is immeasurable: a company has lost its premises and everything contained in it; a community has lost a significant part of its heritage and identity. Fire is a very real and potentially devastating threat to any business, making regular risk assessments an absolute must.

Regulations also stipulate that companies are obliged to provide annual fire safety training for employees. This is to ensure that employees are all aware of the important information regarding fire safety in the workplace.