Some industrial areas could become insurance 'blackspots' because of the priority given by fire brigades to residential buildings, Tony Hutchins, head of the ABI's property committee, has warned.

The warning comes amid discussions between the ABI and the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) over fire brigades' responses to industrial fires.

The insurance industry is concerned about the priority given to residential property fires over non-residential fires.

Although the CFOA has guidelines outlining the priorities for responding to fires, each regional service operates independently. The fear is that in some areas industrial properties will be left to burn.

Hutchins, who is also Allianz Cornhill property manager, said he was concerned that in some areas businesses will be stung by huge premium increases for property risks.

"If a fire brigade's policy is not to turn up, this becomes an underwriting factor."

Barry Dixon, CFOA director of operations, said the body would acknowledge the insurance industry's concerns and would ensure it met the needs of the whole community.