The following is the statement from our Accreditation Body
Fire safety during the coronavirus pandemic
During this extraordinary situation, it must be noted that fire safety cannot be put on hold. Fire does not discriminate, and it is important that your fire safety policy is well maintained appropriately. BAFE have discussed this fact before, but fire safety systems and provisions are different to security measures. Security systems are usually deactivated and activated on a daily basis, so you would know immediately if there is an issue. Fire systems and provisions are not, which is why a regular maintenance schedule is vitally important (and a legal obligation) to ensure these are fully operational in the event of fire.
Restriction of access to site
It is understandable that premises management would be restricting access for fire safety providers to their buildings at present. It is also very understandable that business continuity and the welfare of staff is your primary concern. If your business premises are now closed this could be an ideal time to ensure your fire safety systems and provisions have been or could be maintained suitably according to legislation. However, we must stress only do this at present if it is safe to do so. If you are unable to fulfil your scheduled maintenance of fire safety provisions, please take measures to ensure any people in the building will remain safe (and document actions) and return to your regular fire safety policy and scheduled work/maintenance when appropriate. Your specified fire safety providers/local Fire and Rescue Service will be able to advise further.
In the event of a lockdown, the fire protection industry has strongly advised Government that Third Party Certificated fire safety providers are listed as key workers, and this has now been confirmed. Emergency callouts could prevent any additional/unnecessary false alarms for example. This will reduce any strain on emergency services from attending with additional responsibilities they may face moving forward. Information is changing by the hour, and we will endeavour to keep you updated where possible.
The fire safety industry actions are somewhat invisible to the public, but it is of extreme importance in reducing risk from fire. We know that this industry cares so much about fire safety and will endeavour to help you as required. The coronavirus is affecting the way we all work, but we know that where possible BAFE Registered Companies and their staff will continue to keep the nation safe from needless danger.