Preparing for re-occupancy
We previously detailed steps to consider, helping reduce the risk of fire and theft on your premises during Covid-19.
As businesses get ready for reoccupation, we have created a free recovery calendar detailing the points that the responsible person should consider during three key stages in the run up to re-occupancy. This helps to ensure that all risk factors are managed correctly and at the right time for peace and mind of those returning to the premises.Download recovery calendar
With personnel returning to work on a phased basis, it is important to review your Fire Risk Assessment in accordance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to reflect any new use patterns for the building. The Fire Risk Assessment must remain suitable and sufficient at all times.
The reduction in usual staff numbers may result in an increase in the time taken to detect a fire and raise the alarm. The responsible person(s) should be able to show that all personnel are aware of what to do in case of fire. With partially open offices, it is important that you have enough fire wardens operating. All returning staff will need to receive appropriate fire safety training. In order to maintain social distancing, your emergency plan and fire warden provision, including the Assembly Point will need to be reviewed. For more on your evacuation strategy during this time, click here.
When you return to the premises, a full test will need to be undertaken on your fire alarm system alongside a complete battery discharge test on your emergency lighting system. Weekly and monthly inspections on your fire and security equipment should continue as normal. As highlighted by Bafsa, those responsible for buildings are reminded that even within this challenging situation of Covid-19, critical fire sprinkler systems must be tested and maintained.
From an insurance perspective, non-compliance on any regulatory requirements will invalidate the policy.
Managing the security risk is equally important when returning to work on a phased basis; the risk assessment will need to be revised.
A number of developed protocols will need to be completed for health and safety checks, visitor policies and goods in and out processes. These may include:
- Provide a separate entrance and exit to a building if possible.
- Provide signage to maintain safe distances. Mark two metre lines on the floor in reception areas/common areas.
- Provide cough and sneeze screens and PPE equipment if required.
- Remove or reduce common human contact touch points particularly in high traffic areas.
- Provide hand sanitiser where necessary.
- Make sure access levels remain in place for employees and visitors returning to work.
- Check all fobs work correctly and ensure all doors open and close properly with their door closers.
Upon returning to the premise, your Covid-19 policy will need to be clearly visible to visitors and staff and you will need to ensure all surfaces with hand contact are to be wiped and cleaned regularly.
You will need to check your CCTV, intruder alarms and security lighting for correct operation and ensure your CCTV recording parameters remain in place. This might be part of ensuring that all remote monitoring is fully operations, including intercoms, IT/server, power supply and communications.
If you would like to find out more about how Churches Fire can help ensure protection from fire and theft, please get in touch today.contact us