Europe’s largest indoor shopping centre has been put through its paces by the fire service

Europe’s largest indoor shopping centre has been put through its paces by the fire service – to make sure shoppers are safe in an emergency.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) and Metrocentre have revealed they joined forces for a day of fire safety training.

Over the course of a day, Fire Safety staff from TWFRS were invited to observe and learn Metrocentre’s evacuation procedures.

Together they ran a partial evacuation of the Green Mall to refresh and test their emergency response.

The drill went well and provided a great insight for Fire Safety staff as to how the centre team react to emergencies.

TWFRS staff also spoke to a number of business to ensure their fire safety plans were up to date and accurate, providing expert advice if needed.

Today (Wednesday) senior leaders at both organisations are reflecting on an important learning opportunity for their staff.

Station Manager Andy Nelson, of TWFRS’s Fire Safety department, said “This exercise was a great opportunity to understand how large scale businesses react in a crisis.

“We were able to see where we could help and how we would adapt our response if this were a real live scenario.

“Then having the opportunity to speak to the business inside Metrocentre about their fire safety plans was great for the team after watching the exercise.

“It allows our staff to give tailored advice to those that were involved in the exercise and for our staff to learn more about an iconic venue in the North East.

“I want to thank Metrocentre for allowing us to attend the exercise and I look forward to the next chance we can share our knowledge.”

Gavin Prior, Metrocentre Centre Director commented: “The centre undertakes regular evacuation drills and training scenarios to ensure the team are prepared to deal with all eventualities.

“Being able to work alongside TWFRS has provided an excellent opportunity for our team to learn from the experts and enhance our working relationship.”

From October 1st, new business safety regulations are now in place to ensure businesses in England and Wales have fire risk assessments no matter the size.

The new legislation also sees increased requirements for cooperation and coordination between Responsible Persons in multi occupied buildings or those where the occupier and owner are not the same person.

And in residential buildings with two or more domestic premises residents must be provided with information on the risks from fire and the fire safety measures provided to keep them safe.

For more information on the legislation change, you can visit the National Fire Chief’s Council website.

And for any North East Businesses that need more information on Fire Risk Assessments, you can visit TWFRS’s website today.