Skip to content

National Fire Chiefs Council Business Safety Week – Fire Safety Measures/Systems

Watch Commander Gary Wood, seconded SFRS officer to the SBRC shares more information from the National Fire Chiefs Council Business Safety Week campaign.

Gary said: “Covid-19 has been a particularly difficult and challenging period for businesses in Scotland whatever their size or sector. Many businesses will have been focusing on keeping their customers and guests safe from Covid-19 and there may have been other aspects of their risk management processes that have not had the same time and attention paid to them as they would normally.

“This could include maintenance of fire safety measures and systems within your commercial premises and you may have had to make changes to some aspects of the internal or external areas of your building. If this is the case, take time to review any changes made and act accordingly to minimise the risk to your staff and others who may resort to your premises.”

If lockdown disrupted maintenance of fire safety systems, contact your service engineer to review them and resume a regular schedule of testing and checks and keep a record; fire alarms – weekly, emergency light – monthly, extinguishers – monthly, fire doors – monthly.

  • We are all encouraged to maintain social distancing to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. But in the event of a fire alarm or fire drill, please leave the building quickly and safely by the nearest available fire exit
  • Have you had to make changes to fire exit routes? If so, record changes and ensure they are communicated to all staff
  • Fire doors can only offer protection if they are closed. They are lifesaving, providing protection from smoke, fire and access to a means of escape
  • If you have new staff or have revised evacuation procedures due to Covid-19 you must ensure staff have been trained and they know the drill in the event of an incident
  • Ensure your staff and those likely to resort to your building are aware of measures to reduce UFAS – Unwanted Fire Alarm Signals/false alarms. These can result in business interruption for you and place an unneeded demand upon the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service operational resources
  • Don’t forget to think about the impact of new working practices on vulnerable people in your premises. You may need to review their Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans

Protection measures in response to Covid-19 must not impact fire safety measures. Ensure:

  • Plastic screens don’t obstruct smoke alarms, sprinklers or fire alarm call points
  • The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service can quickly access your building in the event of a fire
  • You have enough trained staff on duty to manage evacuations

Further advice can be obtained from Gary at the Scottish Business Resilience Centre – [email protected] and you can find information on a wide range of fire risk mitigation topics on the SBRC website.

For advice on how to reduce UFAS see here.

Guidance can also be found on the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service website here. 

NFCC Business Safety Week 2020 Campaign info here.