Nearly three-quarters of Lancashire businesses have failed fire risk assessments in the last year, it has been revealed.
A study by Safety Management UK, a North West-based fire expert, revealed 3,636 audits were carried out between April 2011 and March this year.
Only 1,089 were found to be compliant by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s fire safety experts and it served 376 enforcement notices over that period.
Managing director Brian Gregory said companies were under increasing pressure during the recession and warned firms had “a false sense of security” over fire safety.
He said: “Only 30% of fire safety audits completed by Lancashire Fire and Rescue were found to be compliant.
“This figure suggests that businesses are still not getting it right when it comes to managing their own fire safety and gambling with their future.
“Principally, managing your own fire safety stems from completing a fire risk assessment.
“Once you have completed your fire risk assessment it is critical that you work on significant findings that the assessment identifies.
“Often business owners and managers feel that by having fire extinguishers in place and have a fire detection system in their building they are covered.”
The study also reveals that there were 3,851 arson attacks in Lancashire over the 12-month period.
There were also 24 office fires, 76 factory or warehouse blazes and 50 fires in small shops and takeaways.