West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service advise you to review your Fire Risk assessment and Emergency Plan in light of the impact of Covid 19 on your staffing levels, operating times, business processes and evacuation arrangements.
In addition to the information on this page, the National Fire Chief Council also has some great resources here:
Advice for Businesses
Advice for schools
Business Fire Safety Prevention Measures
- Some companies may be looking to take the opportunity to bring forward maintenance operations and building works. This should be reassessed and only introduced if it is life safety essential works and in line with Government expectations and advice.
- Review the impact of Covid 19 on maintenance provision of essential fixed installations for fire-fighters and potential ignition sources such as electrical installations, ducting cleaning etc.
- Consider prohibiting all hot works.
- For all premises that may be unoccupied, ensure that all electrical appliances are switched off and the plugs are removed from sockets.
- Discuss with your Service Engineer if routine maintenance can be postponed safely.
Business Fire Safety Protection Measures
- Ensure that all fire doors are securely closed
- Consider impact of disruptions to waste collections on waste storage and build up which is likely to cause a fire risk.
- Consider security arrangements to address any increased risk of arson for empty premises and waste build up.
- Ensure that security staff and any new or inexperienced security staff are familiar with the emergency plan and procedure for contacting the fire brigade.
- If your business premises are still operating during this time, with a potentially reduced / changing workforce, you must still ensure the alarm can be raised in case of fire and means of escape routes remain clear and available for those using the premises.
Specific advice for Healthcare Premises
- Any staged evacuation arrangements such as progressive horizontal evacuation, which are often in place in hospitals and care homes, need to be supported by appropriate levels of staff.
- Management should consider the need for appropriate staff resources to allow for this. If these staffing levels are affected by Covid 19 you will need to review your risk assessment and emergency plan and if you believe that your staffing levels are not sufficient to support your evacuation strategy you should consult with your Fire Risk Assessor.
- If a fire does occur in your premises you must ensure the fire service is called at the earliest opportunity and inform the operator that an evacuation is in progress.
Home Fire Safety (working from home)
- For employees who will be working from home, please encourage them to take the time to check home fire safety arrangements, and ensure that smoke alarms are fitted, tested and are working correctly.
- Make sure all members of the family know what to do if you have a fire particularly elderly people and children.
- Bedtime Checks – Close doors, unplug electrical appliances and chargers, check heaters are off and candles and cigarettes are properly extinguished.
Employees can use our free online interactive fire safety check here.
Many commercial premises are or will be making arrangements to return to work after a considerable period of lockdown. West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service (WYFRS) have produced the following advice to help ensure workplaces are safe for returning employees and members of the public.
Returning to Work after Covid-19 Lockdowns – Guidance for businesses