The current COVID-19 pandemic may adversely affect your business by reducing staffing levels and disrupting your normal working practice. But it is vital that the fire safety of your business and the safety of all the people working in or visiting your business are maintained.
REMEMBER: Social distancing measures should NOT adversely affect fire safety. Keep entrances/exits clear & fire exits unlocked.
Are your staff adequately trained?
- Make sure your have an adequate number of competent persons to help in the implementation of preventative and protective fire safety measures. If you have absent staff, make sure there are adequately trained staff on-site at all times to ensure fire safety measures are not adversely affected.
- With a reduced workforce, there may be an increased likelihood of people working alone within buildings. You need to ensure that these people are provided with adequate warning in case of a fire so they do not become trapped.
Is your Fire Risk Assessment up to date?
- It may be necessary to review your fire risk assessment during this time to ensure suitable and sufficient measures are in place. Further information on fire risk assessments can be found at https://www.gov.uk/workplace-fire-safety-your-responsibilities/fire-risk-assessments
Does your fire alarm work?
- Check your fire alarm is working correctly and carry out regular fire drills. Make sure your staff know what to do in the event of a fire.
Does your firefighting equipment work?
- Make sure firefighting equipment is maintained. Ensure staff know where firefighting equipment is kept and how to use it safely.
Are your fire doors clear?
- Escape routes should be kept clear and designated fire exits should not be blocked by furniture or excess stock. DO NOT prop open fire doors, even if this is intended to minimise contact between staff and door handles. We would advise businesses to follow Public Health advice around regularly washing your hands for 20 seconds or more to minimise the spread of coronavirus.
Is your business protected against 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
- Remove or store all rubbish securely away from premises
- Keep all entrances and exits of the building clear at all times
- Stock should not be kept in excessive amounts
- Lighting, CCTV and fencing will deter criminals
- Try to ensure premises are regularly checked to ensure the security of the building is not compromised and identify any attempts of arson. If you have information relating to arson, you should report it to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.
- For more information on keeping your business safe from arson, please read our 'Safer Business' leaflet on our website here.