Why you should re-evaluate your Fire Risk Assessments during COVID-19
In wake of the Prime Ministers recent COVID-19 lock down announcement, in which he vowed to limit the movement of the public, as well as closing businesses. Employers and people that are responsible for fire safety, have been advised that they should be reviewing their fire risk assessments.
Advice comes as the demand from the public for specific businesses that remain open will see a huge rise. For example, supermarkets will likely have to increase stock as well as the number of staff working in the supermarkets in order to cope. This means that safety routes and exits may become compromised due to the increased stock that can become a genuine threat to safety, as they could form barriers and blockages to safety routes and exits.
On the other hand, for businesses that have had to shut down completely under current guidance, it would be wise and a good time to action a full shut down procedure. This involves isolating all electrical items, whilst also reducing the risk of arson by moving any items that could be used by a perpetrator as leverage into the premises in question. As well as a revaluation of all previous fire risk assessments. In short, it is important that all businesses ensure that fire safety standards are maintained despite most businesses not being able to operate as they would normally like to.
To conclude, remaining compliant with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, is still of vital importance, in order to protect people and businesses from the threat of fire. For businesses that are still open and functioning, routine tests and checks of all escape exits and routes to the exits need to be carried out, this to make sure that they are clear and accessible at all times. Please also ensure that whilst operational, your business has competently fire safety trained staff present.
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