Owners of small businesses in Nottingham whose first language is Chinese are to get help to meet the requirements of fire safety legislation, thanks to a unique partnership between Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service and The University of Nottingham.
Fire service officers have collaborated with Dr Bin Wu, Senior Research Fellow and Coordinator at the Centre for Chinese Migration Studies (CCMS) based at the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, to recruit a team of Chinese students who can assist with translation when Fire Protection officers are giving presentations to the business community or are carrying out fire safety audits.
Wenxue Chen, a PhD student from the School of Education and Yiran Zhang, a postgraduate student from the School of Culture, Film and Media, will also act as information ‘champions’ to help businesses with Chinese owners to conform to the Fire Safety Order, which requires all businesses to undertake a fire risk assessment. A special course delivered by the Service’s Fire Protection team has helped ensure they have a thorough understanding of the implications of the Order and its requirements.
Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Business Education Advocate, Paul Cooper, said: “The Fire Safety Order can be quite complex to understand, particularly for those business owners whose first language isn’t English.
“Our information ‘champions’ will help to translate some of the information, including legal and fire terminology, making it easier for business owners to understand. They will also explain any complex issues and give them advice on where to find more help and information.
“We are grateful to the university and the students themselves for supporting this initiative which will be extremely useful in helping our local businesses to confirm to the Order, keeping themselves, their staff and their customers safe from fire.”
Dr Bin Wu, the founder and convenor of CCMS, said “We appreciate such an opportunity provided by Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service. This project illustrates how the partnership between the university and local stakeholders could be beneficial to not only local communities including Chinese business community, but also volunteering students (including Chinese students) who can learn more from the wider community".