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With lockdown easing, fire safety should be reassessed say BAFE

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With lockdown measures continuing to ease since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the Governments roadmap in February, BAFE are reminding everyone that fire safety measures need to be reassessed.

As we see more measures ease, the return of mass non-essential businesses opening for customers is expected to return no earlier than the 12th of April.

BAFE are emphasising once again that fire safety obligations continue as normal and are asking people to consider the following before returning to work.

  • Has your appointed Responsible Persons or Duty Holders on furlough? Who has taken over their fire safety responsibilities during this time? These people need to be approached to check all suitable measures continue to be carried out, especially prior to reopening.
  • Have you reviewed your fire risk assessment in the lead up to re-opening? E.g. to acknowledge any updated changes to layout for COVID-19 safety?
  • Have you performed appropriate checks (and logged these) during lockdown? E.g. fire detection and fire alarm system tests/visual checks on fire extinguishers/checking functional operation of emergency lighting systems.
  • Have you organised any routine maintenance required for systems/provisions in place? Fire safety service providers continue to operate as safe as possible following appropriate COVID-19 guidance to help meet your obligations.

There have been no temporary amendments to fire safety law nationwide to accommodate for the COVID-19 pandemic. Fire and Rescue Services across the UK have stressed “fire safety legislation is still being enforced” with “measures in place to enforce this”. BAFE have stressed Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Station Manager Bill Shepherd’s caution multiple times but continue to push out the message: “Coronavirus is not an excuse for disregarding your [fire safety] responsibilities and businesses must ensure that they have an adequate amount of competent people to help in the implementation of both preventative and protective fire safety measures.”

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