During these difficult times - as we all work together to combat the spread of Covid-19 - GMFRS is committed to ensuring that your business and your employees remain safe from fire.
It is imperative that we all play our part and follow the Government guidelines on social distancing and home working. However, businesses that remain partially or fully open are still required to ensure their fire safety measures are adequate and fire protection equipment is maintained.
It is important that when changes in measures to control the spread of Covid-19 are implemented following Government guidance, they are also considered in the context of your premises’ fire risk assessments, to help manage and mitigate the risk of fire as much as much as reasonably practicable.
Any significant changes identified should be recorded where necessary and actioned as required within appropriate timescales.
During this period it is strongly recommended that you regularly review your fire risk assessment.
Consider the following:
- Risk Reduction: Take all reasonable measures to reduce the risk of fire, e.g. isolating all non-essential equipment, services and machinery, etc.
- Changes in risk: The level of risk associated with your premises may have increased due to the current situation, e.g. increased waste/storage, additional stock levels, etc. This should be addressed as part of your updated fire risk assessment.
- Testing and maintenance of fire safety equipment: Your fire safety equipment, including detection and warning systems, sprinklers, emergency lighting and extinguishers need to remain in good working order and should be regularly tested/maintained as normal.
- Evacuation Procedures: Are there still appropriate numbers of staff to ensure evacuation can be safely completed?
- Lone workers: With the reduction in staff numbers you should consider if the detection and warning system in place is adequate to warn relevant people of fire.
- Changes in fire safety measures: Any changes in risk identified during your fire risk assessment review should be communicated to all employees, and where measures are put in place necessary training should be provided.
- Arson reduction: Ensure your premises are secure and any waste/combustible items are stored safely, securely and where possible away from the premises.
- Fire Doors: Shared intelligence suggests some building users are wedging open self-closing fire doors as a Covid-19 control measure (intended to reduce the need to touch locks and door handles etc.). Self-closing fire doors are fitted within your premises to prevent the spread of smoke and fire and to protect/maintain escape routes. It is essential that these doors are kept shut at all times.
GMFRS strongly recommends that you speak with your insurance company to ensure that your policy still covers your premises at this time.
For further guidance/reading please visit the below sites.
- DEFRA site for further information and advice with regard to business/general waste
- Fire safety law and guidance documents for business
- National Fire Chiefs Council - Covid-19 Protection
- Government Covid-19 FAQs - what you can and can't do
Find out more:
- Fire Safety Law
- Fire risk assessment
- Escape routes
- Fire alarms
- Firefighting equipment
- Maintenance and Records
- Preplanning for fire
- Advice for landlords
- False alarms
- Enforcement Register
Latest Topic News
Business Fire Safety (Covid-19)