Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that is terrorizing the world, it is still critical for businesses and building to continue carrying out maintenance and tasks relating to the fire safety in their premises.
All businesses, organizations, and buildings should review their fire risks and emergency plans while considering the impact COVID-19 might have on their staffing, operating schedules, business processes, and evacuation arrangements.
For Closed Businesses During The COVID-19 Crisis
If your business has to close and cease operation for an extended period of time because of this pandemic, there are some important steps you should take to reduce the risk of fire during this crisis:
- Keep all the entrances and exits of the premises clear at all times. Garbage and commercial bins must be emptied and kept away from any buildings.
- Switch off all machines and electrical devices if possible and unplug them.
- Keep your premises secure and continue monitoring to prevent the risk of arson.
- If there are no staff staying or using the building, check the premises regularly to make sure that your security measures are in place and that they have not been compromised.
- If your fire warning and detection system is linked to an Alarm Receiving Centre or ARC, don’t forget to notify them that the premises are currently empty. Make sure that they have current details of managers or contact persons in case of fire alarm activations.
For Businesses Open During The COVID-19 Crisis
If your business is still operating during this time of crisis, here are some safety tips you should keep in mind:
- All existing, new or temporary employees should get robust fire safety awareness and training. Employees should also be made aware of potential fire hazards and risks, especially if staffing levels have been reduced, or if the staff may be working alone, or in an isolated environment:
- Make sure that fire alarm systems and emergency fire exits are always accessible and that the alarm can be triggered in the event of an emergency.
- Continue with your regular testing and maintenance of fire safety devices and measures in place.
- Keep ignition sources, such as matches and lighters, and combustible materials in separate storage. If you need to stockpile, due to the current external factors, then additional fire safety measures may be required.
- Do not keep fire doors open unless there is a suitable approved hold-open device that gets activated when the fire alarm system is triggered.
During this health emergency, it is important not just to take safety precautions for the health of your employees, but also to make sure that you are also safe from other risks, including fire emergencies. Whether your business has closed or is still operating during the COVID-19 epidemic, you should still maintain fire safety measures for your premises.