Companies have to meet strict rules to protect the environment if they suffer a fire at their premises.

The Environment Agency insists that under Fire Prevention Plan legislation certain companies must be able to contain the run-off from fire water to prevent the environment being polluted.

This guidance applies to operators who store combustible waste ranging from scrap metal to paper, cement lime and minerals.

Many facilities management companies are now equipping themselves with FloodSax sandless sandbags which are vacuum-packed so they can be easily stored on site until they are needed. More than 2.5 million have now been sold worldwide.

The FloodSax inflate when they come into contact with water to become more effective than traditional sandbags at containing the polluted water on site.

They can also be used to soak up spills and leaks in hard-to-reach places such as underneath pipes.

The Environment Agency’s Fire Prevention Plans for businesses clearly states: “You must be able to contain the run-off from fire water to prevent pollution of the environment. You must take all the steps that are reasonably practicable to minimise pollution from fire water. For example, preventing fire water entering either into the ground or into surface waters such as rivers, streams, estuaries, lakes, canals or coastal waters.”

Companies that don’t could be committing an offence and the Environment Agency would take enforcement action which may involve a criminal prosecution. The Agency will look to recover its costs from such prosecutions. 

One way to be prepared is to have a store of FloodSax sandless sandbags ready.

FloodSax sales director Richard Nikolic said: “We are finding that more and more businesses – including several facilities management companies - are turning to FloodSax so they are ready for any flooding emergency 24 hours a day seven days a week. 

“They can be quickly built into barriers to stop water either getting into or off the company’s premises and can quickly be deployed inside to soak up leaks and spills, especially in the more inaccessible places. 

“FloodSax are becoming an integral part in many forward-thinking businesses’ crisis planning.” 

For more detailed information from the Environment Agency on this go to

* Written by Andy Hirst at AH! PR