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IS YOUR FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT STILL ADEQUATE?
According to data supplied by the world’s largest independent claims management company Crawford & Company, commercial and domestic fire claims have increased significantly during lockdown with a 40% spike in activity.
In addition to following this advice, you may need to review your usual fire procedures, taking into account measures you may have taken in your business to ensure a Covid-secure workplace.
Employers must have arrangements in place to meet their duties under the Fire Safety Regulatory Reform Order and should review their fire risk assessment if things have changed and they have, for example, fewer people on site.
Some of the things you may need to consider are:
- The assembly point following an emergency evacuation of your premises may be a car park or similar – is it possible to maintain social distancing in this space? If not, consider whether your assembly point can be moved/split into two locations to ensure social distancing can be adhered to. You must ensure there is close coordination between them when roll call is taken to ensure everyone is accounted for.
- If you are operating shift patterns to support social distancing, are there enough fire marshals/wardens for each shift? Are the fire marshals/wardens aware of any * www.crawco.co.uk/resources/data-driven-fire IS YOUR FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT STILL ADEQUATE? RISK ALERT new processes and procedures and how to maintain social distancing when safely evacuating the premises. While there is no prescriptive number of fire marshals/wardens needed, your risk assessment has to determine how many are needed to ensure all areas of the workplace can be covered in the event of an emergency and all people can be safely evacuated.
- How will you ensure you and your fire marshals/wardens know who is onsite and when each day for taking roll call in the event of a fire evacuation? There are two ways to ensure you know everyone is accounted for. You can either have an inspection of all areas of the workplace by the wardens who then confirm the areas are clear, or you can have a register.
- Do you still have the ability/capacity to help those who may require assistance in an emergency, such as those who have a disability?
- Have you got a plan to have a drill to test the new procedures? Ensure the drill is fully documented and any learnings are factored into the risk assessment.
This is not an extensive list of everything you should consider, but gets you thinking about how your risk assessment may need to be adjusted in line with new working practices. For further advice and guidance, contact your local Fire and Rescue Service.