Prime Minister Boris Johnson in February outlined the Government roadmap “to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions”. Step two of this roadmap, to occur no earlier than 12th April, notes the return of mass non-essential businesses opening for customers.
BAFE must stress once again that fire safety obligations continue as normal. What is important about this roadmap is that buildings opening soon continue to remain safe from both COVID and all other health and safety measures, including fire, in the interest of life safety and property protection. This is especially important after a period of inactivity or reduced staff within these premises. For example, have you:
There have been no temporary amendments to fire safety law nationwide to accommodate for the COVID-19 pandemic. Fire and Rescue Services across the UK have stressed “fire safety legislation is still being enforced” with “measures in place to enforce this”. BAFE have stressed Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Station Manager Bill Shepherd’s caution multiple times but continue to push out the message: “Coronavirus is not an excuse for disregarding your [fire safety] responsibilities and businesses must ensure that they have an adequate amount of competent people to help in the implementation of both preventative and protective fire safety measures.”
Specifying a competent, Third Party Certificated fire safety service provider is a responsible action to help meet your fire safety obligations. Before awarding any contract however, it is just as important to verify their Third Party Certification is appropriate for the work you require. This verification is extremely important, as BAFE Registration or any Third Party Certification does not determine evidence of competency for all fire safety services. End users (e.g. premises management) must be vigilant to ensure they exercise due diligence.