Fire Safety Compliance for Office Returns

Amthal is supporting BAFE’s latest advice to prioritise fire safety obligations in offices, especially as preparations gather pace to welcome staff and visitors back to site.

With the 12 April, signalling the start of ‘step two of the roadmap, and the returning of mass non-essential businesses opening for customers,’ BAFE has highlighted that “buildings must remain safe from both COVID and all other health and safety measures, including fire, in the interest of life safety and property protection.”

Phil Bryant, Amthal Head of Strategic Accounts: “As we look forward to a return to normal life, the basics of fire safety and security remain critical.  This is especially important after a period of inactivity or reduced staff within these premises and equally if office designs and layouts have been amended to accommodate social distancing, ensuring emergency exit plans are still compliant.  Commercial buildings should also be aware of any changes to rules or options available with categories of fire alarms available”

BAFE highlights the following considerations prior to a safe reopening:

  • During the Coronavirus expended periods of lockdown has anyone responsible for fire safety, including Responsible Persons or Duty Holders, been on furlough? And if so, who has assumed their role during this time?  Prior to reopening, these are the individuals who now need to be consulted to check all measures continue to be followed compliantly.
  • During lockdown, has appropriate checks been performed and logged?  Here we include fire detection and fire alarm system tests/visual checks on fire extinguishers/checking functional operation of emergency lighting systems.
  • Has a risk assessment been carried out prior to reopening, acknowledging any updated changes to layout to accommodate COVID-19 safety measures?
  • Has a routine maintenance check been organised for systems and all fire safety provisions in place?

Phil adds: “Fire safety has not come off the agenda throughout the pandemic and extended lockdown.  What BAFE is highlighting now is the significance of ensuring compliance to standards has remained in place and there has been no lapse in responsibilities.  This will be especially prevalent now to welcome back staff and visitors to a safe working environment.”

Amthal is ready to support Responsible Persons and Duty Holders looking to complete risk assessments and ensure compliant measures are in place to help in the implementation of both preventative and protective fire safety measures.

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