Both the Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade have issued helpful advice to business on fire safety and physical protection during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Business Crime Hub at the Metropolitan Police has issued this advice on physical protection measures to help business in the capital stay safe.
Fire Safety Message
The London Fire Brigade advises companies to review their fire risk assessment and emergency plan in light of the impact of Covid-19 on staffing levels, operating times, business processes and evacuation arrangements.
- Some companies may take the opportunity to bring forward maintenance operations and building works. These should be appropriately fire risk assessed and supervised to ensure they are not creating increased fire risk.
- Review the impact of CoVid-19 on maintenance provision on 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.
- Ensure that all fire doors are securely closed.
- Consider impact of disruptions to waste collections on waste storage and build up causing 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.
Specific advice for health-care 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 contact the London Fire Brigade. If a fire does occur in your premises, you must ensure the fire brigade 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, particularly elderly people and children, know what to do if you have a fire.
- Bedtime checks – close doors, unplug electrical appliances and chargers, check heaters are off and candles and cigarettes are properly extinguished.
For further reading, please visit our Knowledge Hub.
Read more: Covid-19