Coronavirus (COVID-19): Keep your premises safe with our new Temperature Screening and Density Control systems!
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your covid-19 fire safety questions answered

COVID-19 has completely changed the way that a lot of us work. Consequently, there have been a lot of changes to fire safety guidance and procedures too. We know you have a lot of questions about what you can and cannot do in relation to fire safety - well, today we're going to answer as many as we can!

The person responsible for fire safety in my workplace is self-isolating. What should I do?

No one can predict if and when members of the team will have to self isolate, your NHS Track and Trace app could alert you at any time. That's why it's important that people with responsibilities such as fire safety ensure that there are trained staff members who know the fire safety procedures so an incident can be managed effectively. 

There should be a premises fire risk assessment that's made available to all members of staff on-site so that everyone understands how to react to an escalating fire safety situation.

Can firefighters carry out a risk assessment of my premises for me?

No, the emergency services shouldn't be contacted unless the situation at hand poses a significant risk to life. A responsible person should be able to carry out a fire risk assessment for you. If you're unsure whether you need to update your fire alarm systems, we can offer a FREE security survey to help you out!

Can fire and rescue teams still respond to 999 calls as usual?

In line with the Government guidance, most fire and rescue services are doing their best to limit non-essential contact. That's why it's important that we all try to limit the number of false fire alarm alerts!

Read More: Preventing False Fire Alarms

Firefighters will still attend 999 calls if the risk is deemed severe enough to warrant a call-out. High-priority cases will be dealt with first. Head to your local fire and rescue website for more information on their current procedures.

emergency exit

Can fire exits be locked if there are fewer people on the premises?

As a general rule of thumb, no fire exits should be locked or blocked regardless of the number of people inside. There always needs to be a suitable number of fire exits available to occupants at all times, including signage and emergency lighting. Refer to your fire safety risk assessment as a guide, and if you're still not sure, speak to the person in charge of fire safety on your premises. 

Can fire doors be wedged open to limit the contact with door handles?

No, fire doors should never be propped open because this makes them ineffective in the event of a fire. Fire doors keep you safe by preventing a fire from spreading from one area of your premises to another. They can only do this if they're closed!

If you're concerned about people touching the fire door handles on a regular basis, then you should employ other hand hygiene tactics, for example:

  • Add a hand sanitising/hand wash station nearby.
  • Increase the number of times that handles and hard surfaces are disinfected. 
  • Ask employees to take a different route in and out of the building (unless it's an emergency of course!)

Should employees congregate outside if the fire alarm goes off?

Yes, if the fire alarm goes off, it's absolutely vital that all persons inside the building exit quickly and in an orderly fashion. They should congregate at the pre-determined fire assembly point.

What if this conflicts with social distancing?

If you're worried about social distancing at your fire assembly point there are a few things you can do. Firstly, you can choose a different fire assembly point that offers more space. Where this is not possible, you may need to revise instructions and expectations.

One way you could improve safety at the fire assembly point is to make sure that all persons have a face covering on them at all times while they're inside the building. Should a fire alarm occur, they can use their masks to provide some protection, even if social distancing is not 100% possible. 

Keeping your employees/occupants safe should be your number one priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, if you don't have an adequate fire safety system in place, get in touch with the IDS team today!

Our Fire Alarm Systems >

Read More: Fire Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

fire safety during the COVID-19 pandemic

We're still feeling the effects of COVID-19 a year on, which means many of us have made significant changes to our home and working environments. With these changes in place, it's possible that you'll need to review your fire safety protocols to make sure that your employees and your family are kept safe at all times. 

Fire safety in your home

While COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are ongoing, spending an unprecedented amount of time in your house has become the new norm. Most house fires start in the kitchen, so while you might usually have your breakfast on the go and your lunch in the office cafeteria, now, you're making more of your meals at home. 

We all like to think that we remember to turn the hob off after every use, but with children home from school and the added stress of at-home zoom calls, it's easy to walk away from your oven and forget. This is where a simple snack can turn into a serious incident real fast!

Here are a few steps you can take to ensure your home is protected against fires during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Ensure that all of your fire alarms are in working order.
  • Check that you have something to put out a fire should one occur, eg. a suitable fire extinguisher.
  • Identify new risks & put plans in place to reduce the risk.
  • Ensure that vulnerable or sick people understand what to do in the event of a fire.
  • Make sure that escape routes are accessible (does your new home office have a fire escape?)

Fire safety in commercial properties

Commercial properties have really had to adapt to continue functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic, and with so many changes being made in the workplace, it's vital that fire safety procedures are reviewed and updated too.

Fire doors

We know that some premises have been propping open doors so that people walking through the building don't have to touch as many door handles. While this might seem like a perfectly acceptable idea, propping open your fire doors is incredibly dangerous.

Fire doors are designed to stop fires from spreading from one area of your building to another. Wherever possible, keep your self-closing fire doors shut.

Empty buildings

Lots of business owners have taken steps to close their premises for the time being. Whether your staff are working from home or your business has been deemed non-essential, there are a lot more empty buildings than usual. 

With fewer people on-site, it's unlikely that a fire will occur, but if a fire does start it has a much better chance of spreading before someone can be there to stop it. For this reason, it's important that you have a fire safety system in place before you leave your premises empty.

Our Fire Safety Systems

Here at IDS Security, we can design, install and maintain a fire safety system in your home or commercial premises that will keep you safe through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. 

Our team of installers has been installing fire safety systems for over 20 years, so we can provide sound advice and expertise. We also offer round-the-clock monitoring so that you have one less stress on your mind during these worrying times. 

Our Fire Alarm Systems >

To find out more about our fire safety systems, or to find out more about what we can do for you during the COVID-19 pandemic, give us a call on 029 20 753 251.

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In order to protect your home or business from the risk of fire, you're going to need to install an effective fire alarm system. Now, we all know that a fire alarm alerts you when there is a potential fire or an irregular amount of smoke in your property, but how do they actually work? And what makes a fire alarm different from a regular smoke alarm? IDS Security is here to let you know!

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