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BAFE Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 01/04/2020
Wednesday 1st April 2020
Information Published 01/04/2020
Following the recent update from the Government regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus, and specifically the information given regarding those considered to be key workers. According to the latest information, provided by the Construction Industry Council, the following activities are classed as key activities in relation to the fire sector:
1. Fire safety inspections
2. Requirement for maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment to meet Fire Safety legislation – even if buildings are not occupied.
3. Waking Watch staff
4. Ongoing need for Fire risk assessments, both to meet legislation and new circumstances in buildings
5. Electrical safety work/ Electrical failures
6. Emergency Leaking/ flooding
7. Water companies – remedial / emergency work to buildings and assets that are crucial to the supply of clean water,
8. New or business / safety critical maintenance work on establishments which are involved in supply chain of vital NHS equipment (for example where manufacturers are building units to make ventilators),
9. New or business / safety critical maintenance work on establishments which are involved in supply of medicines,
10. Installation/maintenance technicians providing services to key sectors – health, power etc?
11. Emergency callouts, safety checks and essential work in care homes?
12. Ongoing supervision and security measures.
13. Sites where anti-terrorism considerations need to take precedence over other concerns – eg Palace of Westminster.
14. Urgent works on emergency service properties other than health - police, fire, for example?
15. Security (for the public) of unattended sites is a concern
16. Work on factories that make materials that are vital to all elements on this list
Source: Construction Industry Council
However, BAFE supports the Government view that individuals, wherever possible, should stay at home and avoid travel and contact with others.
With regards to existing contracts, we would urge all our Registered Companies to discuss with clients where there is a legal requirement or safety issue.
BAFE is monitoring the current positions of our Certification Bodies regarding new and annual assessments. Their audit arrangements are somewhat different, and all companies are advised to maintain contact with their certification body if they have an assessment due over the upcoming weeks. Some Certification Bodies are continuing to perform remote audits and checks where possible, please be prepared for this eventuality. BAFE will publish any information provided from Certification Bodies regarding assessment changes.
BAFE will aim to be flexible and reasonable about their respective scheme’s requirements for continuity of certification, where companies can demonstrate that they have taken all steps possible to comply with their Certification Bodies advice.
On 30th March the FIA published a statement regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus which can be viewed here:
BAFE is endeavoring to update all relevant news and advice on our website. We have responded to several questions regarding the fire protection industry but cannot answer specific questions about contractual arrangements. At present, as stated in the BAFE update 24/03/2020, we must stress “It is the responsibility of each company to liaise with their clients to ascertain the requirements and accessibility for their work. Where maintenance schedules or activity is changed in conjunction with the client, this should always be documented for future reference.” We understand the difficulties and obstacles Registered Companies are currently facing in keeping your client’s buildings protected.
We continue to work with other bodies in the fire, security and construction industries where we have common aims and support a wide range of initiatives to encourage Government to consider the implications for our industry, our clients and the responsible person in a building.
For all coronavirus related news please visit the dedicated section of the BAFE website for updates:
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue is advising businesses to review fire risk assessments Thursday 26th March 2020
Home Office informs the FIA about Key Worker status of fire safety personnel Monday 23rd March 2020
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Legal obligations nationwide require the appointed responsible person for fire safety for commercial/non-domestic premises to have adequate fire protection.