Business fire safety shutdown – Covid 19
If you have had to close your business, then follow the points below for a fire safety shutdown ;
These points are a general guide and will not necessarily apply to all business types, so give us a ring if you want to discuss your business specifically. We operate a “five minutes for a friend” policy and therefore do not charge a fee for this advice!
It is important to remember the key point of a fire risk assessment is to gauge the risk to life in the building. If you have completed a fire safety shutdown of the business then there is no-one at risk. But you must inform your insurance provider that the business has completed a fire safety shutdown and that it is empty.
The following guidance relates to business protection and the procedures or actions required as part of your re-opening plans,
So, if you haven’t shutdown yet or if you are popping in to check the site, try and get the fire alarm serviced and complete an annual discharge of the emergency lighting. This might be difficult to do if the suppliers aren’t working, but it will be worth a try as everyone will be looking works completed after the close down is lifted.
Complete a sweep of the building to ensure the fire doors are all closed, all non-essential electrical items are switched off and heating systems are turned off. Ensure that all flammable materials used as part of the work processes are locked away.
Next, is the critically important, but often overlooked arson risk. Take a walk around outside and look for obvious ways to attempt to enter the building. Secure windows or doors or add internal or external preventative measures such as boarding to discourage intruders.
Also remove any materials that may be of use to an arsonist. Wooden pallets, bins and other flammable products provide the fuel for an arsonist. Lock the bins away from the building or lock them inside if this is feasible.
If you have CCTV, speck with your supplier to see if you can get remote access onto your phone so you can instantly respond (and you won’t have left the house!) Obviously an intruder alarm is a great piece of equipment, but not everyone has one installed.
Check external fencing (preferably with lighting) to deter access.
On reopening after the fire safety shutdown, there are a number of fire safety related activities that must be completed.
First is the fire risk assessment if this lapsed a review. Second is complete a weekly test of the fire alarms, followed by the monthly inspections of the extinguishers and the fire doors.
For staff it will be beneficial to complete a full evacuation drill and also complete a toolbox talk of the staff induction training. Following a fire safety shutdown, the staff will need to be refreshed on their actions on activation of the fire alarm.
Subject to you occupancy, you may need to refresh the plans and procedures for the evacuation of disabled uses to include the use of any evacuation chairs.
The Fire Protection Association are giving a free business advise booklet on security and arson protection, although you will need to create a login
Please get in touch to discuss any of the points noted above if if you want any specific business fire safety advice!