They echoed praise from the Government about the CFOA’s commitment to head up a “business engagement forum” to raise future concerns and brainstorm innovative ideas.

Fire chiefs will create a professional, accredited, framework of competence for fire-safety officers, and provide clearer and more consistent support and direction to businesses.

“This will include consistency in formal notices across all authorities and clarity on how identified failures of compliance can be addressed,” said a CFOA spokesman. “It will clearly distinguish informal advice from compulsory requirements.”

“We will promote the use, and acceptance of, recognised professional certification and accreditation for commercial fire risk assessors, and encourage all fire and rescue authorities to engage with Local Enterprise Partnerships to support better communication with firms.”

Business minister Michael Fallon said: “Fire safety regulations must be robustly and clearly enforced to ensure safety without damaging productivity or business growth.”

BPIF head of health and safety Simon Lunken said: “There is confusion among employers about fire risk assessments and legal requirements, so these moves are welcome.

“Part of the problem is finding competent support and advice; there are people out there who dabble but are a bit out of their depth when it comes to help companies.”

Lunken added: “The workplace changes very quickly in print and packaging and there are still a few issues of fire exits being blocked or locked at night and not reopened next day.”

The intervention of the CFOA follows the Government’s recent Focus on Enforcement review, which identified a need for more consistent application of regulation and better guidance for companies on how to comply with the law.