BAFE welcomes latest Government announcement assisting fire safety work
28 June 2020
BAFE IS pleased to note the recent announcement made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as the Government continues to ease lockdown measures. Most notably, the one metre-plus rule (in England) will help in the continuation of the fire safety industry gaining access to buildings to perform essential fire safety work and maintenance as required by legislation.
BAFE now awaits further guidance to be released by Government in the near future which will assist the industry to determinedly continue with extreme care and diligence.
Stephen Adams, CEO at BAFE, commented: “From Saturday 4 July, multiple venues that have been closed for a considerable amount of time will re-open. This indicates a large number of buildings that, by law, will need to ensure that their fire safety provisions and systems are appropriate after making changes to accommodate for Coronavirus safety measures. We would urge everyone to be safe, review their fire risk assessment and use competent providers to help meet these obligations.”
The Government has offered salient advice on how businesses can reduce the risk by taking certain steps to protect workers and customers. These include avoiding face-to-face seating, reducing the number of people inside, improving ventilation, changing shift patterns and increasing face coverings, including mandatory face coverings on public transport.
In the course of his statement in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister said: “At every stage, caution will remain our watchword and each step will be conditional and reversible”. One key change announced is a revision of guidance on social distancing from two metres to the aforementioned one metre-plus. Johnson has stated that “where it is possible to keep two metres apart people should do so”.
Adams went on to state: “Fire and Rescue Services continue to uphold fire safety legislation and have measures in place to check commercial buildings. Remember that all safety measures are in place for life safety. This includes Coronavirus, fire and other safety requirements. Don’t simply focus on the virus. The last thing anyone wants is for any business to re-open and be struck by fire.”
For its part, BAFE continues to extend its commendation for the fire safety industry which, where possible, has endured to uphold its vital work to help premises managers continue to meet their ongoing safety obligations.
Mike Robinson, CEO at the British Safety Council, has commented: “The scientific advice coming from the Health and Safety Executive has not changed. The risk of transmission is significantly higher the closer people are to one another and it is still recommended that people keep two metres apart where they can. Where social distancing is not always possible, such as on public transport, then face coverings can mitigate risk. Like the Prime Minister, I hope people will apply common sense, and that means taking into account the very real risk that remains even as the lockdown ends.”