Updated – 24/03/2020
As the Coronavirus outbreak continues to spread across the UK, more companies are adopting stronger measures to protect employees from contracting and spreading the virus, however, as our work practices, movements and behaviour changes, businesses should also consider how their fire and security systems can help them mitigate risks in the wake of COVID-19.
We believe it is essential and our obligation to our customers to ensure that their Fire and Security Systems remain well maintained and is full working order throughout this COVID-19 Pandemic Period. Therefore, we will continue (for now and unless otherwise advised) to offer and carry out the following…
Domestic and Commercial Customers and must be assessed as to whether the visit would be regarded as essential to the Safety and/or Security of the building and its occupants.
Domestic and Commercial Customers
Commercial Customers Only, and only for Fire Systems, Safety Systems and Security Systems.
From today’s date (24/03/2020), the following works we will be requesting to be postponed until a later date...
The health and safety of our employees, customers and wider public is paramount to us during this Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, and therefore our engineers will carry out the following procedures when attending sites….
If any of our Engineers are showing symptoms of the Coronavirus or have been in contact with someone showing signs of the Coronavirus, they will not attend sites under any circumstances.
During this extraordinary situation, it must be noted that fire and security safety cannot be put on hold. Fire does not discriminate and crime does not cease to take place, and therefore it is important that Fire and Security Systems continue to be maintained (Preventively and Correctionally) to ensure these systems will remain functional in the event that they are required.
If your premises are now closed this could be an ideal time to ensure your fire and security systems have been or could be maintained suitably according to legislation. It also allows the opportunity to undertake other essential works if required with unimpeded access.
Loss prevention and risk reduction measures should be considered for all buildings in the event of closure, even if it’s only temporary. Unoccupied properties are vulnerable to fire, theft and malicious damage and need to be managed accordingly.
Fires starting in unoccupied premises feature prominently in UK loss statistics. Causes of fire are mainly arson-related, but also include electrical faults in fixed wiring. In addition, theft of contents and fixtures and fittings, vandalism, occupation by squatters are common, especially when routine site inspections are not carried out.
A well installed, tested and maintained fire alarm and intruder alarm system is essential to provide an early warning sign that there is an issue in your building. These systems may also be connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) to support prompt notification and response to any activation.
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.
In the event of a lockdown, the fire protection industry has strongly advised Government that Fire Safety providers are listed as KEY WORKERS, and this has now been confirmed by James Brokenshire, Minister of State for Security at the Home Office:
“Security & fire safety personnel can play a vital role at this time of national challenge. People working in these sectors who are essential to national infrastructure are “Key Workers” for the purposes of the Government’s guidance on COVID-19”
James Brokenshire – Minister State for Security at the Home Office
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.
The services that our group provides are essential to our client’s operations and we recognise the great trust and reliance that our clients place in us to provide these critical services without disruption to keep them safe and compliant with health & safety legislation.
I wish for you all to remain safe and healthy, and should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
William Hale Fire & Security Ltd