What Landlords Should Be Doing For Fire Safety During Covid-19 Crisis
The coronavirus pandemic has brought about a lot of change in the world very quickly and during this time landlords may well consider what obligations have changed for them and what changes they may need to make to their fire safety measures.
As a responsible person, landlords have a responsibility to ensure that their buildings meet fire safety regulations even though there is a pandemic. Further guidance is available below on the changes that landlords must make to ensure their fire safety measures are sufficient during the Covid-19 crisis.
New Fire Safety Assessment
Some of the changes brought about by the pandemic will affect the way in which the building is accessed or used by tenants. Tenants may be using the building more or less, or they may be using the building in a different way to the ways they have done previously.
For example, tenants may be away from the building due to the lockdown this means that electrical equipment may be left unused and unchecked or that the empty property makes it a higher risk target for arsonists.
Landlords should complete new fire risk assessments taking into account any changes that have been brought about by the pandemic. New risks should be documented, isolated, and mitigated or, where possible, removed.
Check Fire Safety Measures
It is always important to review fire risk assessments and any mitigation regularly but as there has been such drastic changes due to the pandemic, Landlords must check all fire safety measures are working as expected.
The most obvious measure to check is that fire doors are secure and that any fire alarms are working properly. If the building has been used less during lockdown it might be a good time to consider implementing a new fire safety system if your current system is getting old. Measures such as sprinklers will be better to be fitted with less people in situ.
Responsible Persons Are Currently Considered To Be Key Workers
Due to the pandemic, responsible persons have currently been granted keyworker status and need to carry out all tasks that require immediate attention throughout the Covid-19 Crisis.
This means that as a responsible person you are expected to maintain fire safety measures and ensure that fire safety legislation is met, even in light of all the changes going on.
Escape Routes Must Always Be Accessible
Part of the review of fire risk assessments and fire safety measures should always be to ensure that escape routes are kept clear and are accessible for people to use should a fire break out.
If people have been in the building, fire doors may have been propped open or items stored in inappropriate places. It is imperative that the responsible person checks all escape routes and removes any items that may cause an issue in the event of a fire.