During the Covid-19 pandemic businesses and other organisations may find their normal activities adversely affected through:
- Enforced closure
- Reduction in staffing levels
- Disruption to your normal working practices
However, it is essential that you consider and maintain your fire safety arrangements as you adapt your premises to make them COVID secure workplaces to ensure the safety of employees and visitors to your buildings.
The Health and Safety Executive have some useful information to support businesses to make your workplace COVID-secure link here.
Protection from deliberate fires (arson)
If your building is closed for an extended period of time, ensure it is secure and continue with usual measures to prevent arson:
- Any combustible materials should be removed from site or stored securely
- Rubbish is a potential fuel source so remove or store securely away from premises
- Keep all entrances and exits of the building clear at all times
- Stock levels should not be kept to a minimum and stored safely
Check premises regularly to ensure that security of the building is not compromised. If you identify any attempts of arson, contact CrimeStoppers: 0800 555111
With a reduced workforce there may be an increased likelihood of people working alone or remotely within buildings. You should ensure that these people are provided with adequate warning in case of fire so they can safely make their escape.
Fire safety testing
You should continue to maintain and regularly test your fire safety provisions onsite to ensure they continue to work correctly. (e.g. fire alarm, emergency lighting, extinguishers and sprinklers if installed).
Sleeping on commercial premises
If you are allowing staff or volunteers to sleep in your business premises during the pandemic, which is not normally the case, it is imperative that the building and fire safety provisions are suitable. A Fire Risk Assessment must be carried out by the Responsible Person to identify the fire hazards and risks within the premises, and then take appropriate steps to reduce them, if in doubt contact us for advice email email@example.com
Fire Safety Guidance – COVID-19
A number of guidance notes have been issued by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and can be found under NFCC Protection Guidance midway down the page for COVID-19 the site can be accessed via this link www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/COVID-19
We provide virtual business safety drop-in session every Friday 9.00am to 12.00pm click this link for more information https://www.clevelandfire.gov.uk/2020/04/virtual-fire-safety-for-businesses/