“Covid19 safety mustn’t prejudice your fire safety”
Companies everywhere are making their workplace Covid19 safe as staff return to work in increasing numbers. “Covid19 safety mustn’t prejudice your fire safety” warns fire safety expert Jon Limer of Peninsula Fire Safety.
Be Covid19 safe and fire safe too!
Companies are responding to the need to ensure staff can work in an environment which is free from the threat of Covid19, taking this responsibility seriously, and should be encouraged. This will become increasingly evident as we enter 2021 as businesses look to embrace the new norm! This focused approach is inadvertently ignoring the ever-present fire risk and, in some cases, disturbing fundamental fire safety arrangements.
“Introducing new Covid19 safety arrangements whilst respecting fire safety is a challenge, not a problem.” emphasised Jon Limer.
Check your Fire Risk Assessment
Are existing Fire Risk Assessments being referred to? Do the changes mean that the document needs to be updated or policies and procedures modified? Are the staff aware of the changes, don’t assume they know! Key staff with fire safety responsibilities may be working from home, so that needs addressing. Don’t lower standards or commit the fundamental no-no of for example wedging fire doors open. This may be a great idea in the Covid19 context, but would allow some and fire to sweep through buildings, potentially in seconds.
Responsibility for safety in the workplace is a fundamental management responsibility, considering Covid19 just adds to them. So as we enter 2021 now is the time to act, the new norm is here so embrace it; the changes now being made may be perceived as temporary; but you can’t temporality ignore fire safety. We all know that temporary could easily expand into years. The first step is a Fire Risk Assessment. We are happy to undertake this when your Covid19 changes are being planned. A little thought can make a huge difference at this stage. No doing anything is irresponsible exposing your company’s staff, visitors, buildings and assets to a huge risk, which your may think you had dealt with, but then things changed! If there is a fire the impact will be enormous and your actions, or lack of them, will be under scrutiny from many aspects, not least of which will be your insurance company.
So Jon’s clear advice it “When you are considering Covid19 safety, consider you total safety including your fire risk. Review your fire safety systems, evacuation plans, safety signage, emergency lightening, location of fire extinguishers and staff training.
Think safety. Think fire!
“The Covid19 threat is serious and must be respected. This might be an appropriate prompt to “Think safety. Think fire” and take a joined-up approach to your workplace safety.”
“Talk with us” is the invitation from Jon Limer. “We are always happy to have an initial phone conversation, always in confidence and without obligation. Let’s talk fire safety! Call 01271 442441”