With the world showing signs of returning to normal, business owners will be starting to think about reopening. However, it is likely that when businesses can reopen, various safety measures will have to be taken into consideration. From staggered working hours to employees having to work 2 meters apart from one another, we will have to get used to a new type of normal when the pandemic is over. While ensuring all communal areas, work vehicles and working stations are effectively sanitised, there will be a good few items on business owners' to-do lists when it comes to fire safety and security.
Because businesses have been left idle for so many months, it is worth giving your place of work a full audit before your return.
Below, we provide a few tips to business owners looking to ensure their buildings are fully covered from the risks of fire and security breaches.
Fire risk assessment
Conducting an annual fire risk assessment is an obligation every business owner has to abide by; a responsibility clearly outlined in Article 9 of The Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order. While you may have already conducted yours for the year, it is advisable to conduct another prior to reopening. This is because it is likely that you have either moved furniture around, introduced/got rid of staff members and generally made some alterations. As a result, it is fair to suggest that fire safety risks are likely to have changed.
With lockdown throwing all of our routines out of the window, regular fire drills and training will not have been completed for several months. For this reason, it is essential that you build fire drills back into your company’s schedule immediately, ensuring everyone is aware of what they need to do should a fire break out.
Whether your place of work has fire extinguishers, alarms, fire doors, sprinkler systems or all of the above, in order for you to have faith in them they will need to be maintained to the highest of standards. Before opening your office/site back up to staff and customers, running a full audit of these devices is essential.
Like any other electric device that you reply on, CCTV cameras will need to be reviewed regularly to ensure they are in full working order. With most companies running a simple check weekly and a full maintenance audit annually, things have likely been let slip during lockdown. Commissioning a full audit of your CCTV cameras and equipment is recommended, ensuring the software is up-to-date, there are no faulty parts and the device is monitoring the business to the best of its ability.
The same goes for alarm systems. With various components making up the full system, intruder alarms require full checks constantly to ensure nothing is compromised.
Cleanliness is understandably a priority for everyone during lockdown. With the virus able to be transmitted via surfaces, we are all becoming more aware of the items and surfaces we are touching. This is why businesses looking to ramp up security may want to steer away from fingerprint-controlled intercom systems and opt for fob-based systems instead.