COVID-19For details on our approach to enforcement during the coronavirus pandemic and other advice please see below:

Desk top audits

From the 18th March members of the protection department will be making desk top audits via the telephone over the coming weeks to support businesses.

Under the requirements of The (fire safety) Order 2005, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service must continue to enforce fire safety legislation to keep the public and businesses safe. If at the time of the call you are not able to answer the questions due to business needs  you will be offered an appointment at a scheduled time agreeable by both parties.  This appointment will be confirmed by email from the officer who will be carrying out the desk top audit.

In normal circumstances the audit would be carried out by visiting your premises, however this is not advisable due to current Government guidance.  Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service staff will be asking questions relating to fire safety processes and procedures and asking for supporting documents to be sent to them. This is relevant to support the fire risk assessment for your premises and answers to the questions we are asking.

The information we collect from you will be used to update our contact details and will be used as part of the risk based assessment when we carry out a physical audit post restrictions relating to COVID 19.

The data collected will be stored centrally and securely within Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service for the reasons mentioned at the beginning of the call.  This may be used to invite you to free Cheshire Fire and Rescue seminars and/or fire safety events.  We keep the minimum amount of data possible and do not share this with any third party.

Amendments during the COVID-19 restrictions

Information to be added soon.

Key Messages 

Latest news and updates from our Protection team:

10/07/2020 - It is likely not all employees will be returning to work at the same time. This may include staff with specific responsibilities, such as fire wardens or fire marshals. You must ensure that suitably trained staff are available or appointed to fill these positions as necessary.

10/07/2020 - As an employer, you are responsible for providing fire safety training. Upon their return to work is a great time to remind your staff, or any new or transferred staff, of your evacuation plan and let them know if the assembly point has changed.

09/07/2020 - Do not forget to consider lone workers, with the reduction in staff numbers you should consider if the detection and warning systems in place are adequate to warn lone workers of fire.

09/07/2020 - In the event of an evacuation you must ensure you have an adequate number of staff, staff not only help with the actual evacuation but also roll calls and moving people with restricted mobility.

08/07/2020 - If your fire alarm system is under control of the premises owner, you should check that it is still functioning and regularly maintained.

08/07/2020 - Interim fire safety measures introduced in response to the COVID-19 situation will need to be kept under review and updated as necessary. Once Business returns to normal, your measures should again be reviewed and updated as necessary.

07/07/2020 - Check with any training providers, fire alarm engineers or third party contractors that you have booked. If they are still closed then you may have to re-arrange their support, which could lead to a lapse in your fire safety arrangements.

07/07/2020 - If you share a building with other occupiers, your review should be completed in conjunction with other business owners and the premises management company. This will allow you to fully assess the risk and any impact you may have on each other.

06/07/2020 - The level of risk associated with your premises may have increased due to the current situation, this could be due to an increase in stock storage or build up of waste, etc. This should be considered when updating your fire risk assessment.

06/07/2020 - If you are or know a Business owner/manager, then check in each day this week at 1pm and 5pm for information from our Business Safety Team on how you can reduce risk upon the re-opening of your business.

05/07/2020 - Pubs and Restaurants, before re-opening have you considered whether you will have enough trained staff to co-ordinate an evacuation in an emergency?

04/07/2020 - Always consider general fire precautions and ensure you review and update your fire risk assessment with any changes that you have put into place. When your business does not return to usual again review and update your fire risk assessment.

04/07/2020 - All Businesses opening soon please consider the following. Do you now have a one-way system in place? Does this have any effect on your emergency evacuation plan? In order to protect everyone you must always consider Fire Safety!

03/07/2020 - Have you had to increase your stock levels? With lots of changes to how we use our spaces and an increase in stock order size it is easy to let things pile up. Make sure your escape routes are clear.

03/07/2020 - Before you return to work your Fire protection and prevention systems should be tested and checked. A working fire safety system keeps your employees and customers safe. Repair any faults before your staff return to work.

02/07/2020 - Due to COVID-19, it is likely not all your employees will be returning to the office at the same time. This may include staff with specific responsibilities, such as fire marshals. You must ensure that suitably trained staff are available or appointed to fill these positions.

02/07/2020 - Pubs, Restaurants and any other businesses opening soon. When you return to work please check if any rubbish has built up over lockdown. It must be disposed of properly, or it could become a target of arson.

19/06/2020 - It is important all staff receive fire safety training and are aware of their roles in the event of fire. Review current levels of training against each person & update where required. It's particularly essential for those who may not be familiar with your premises.

18/06/2020 - If a reduced workforce (especially lone working) is now taking place at your business, ensure that there is adequate warning in place for people in the event of a fire. Reflect this in your Fire Risk assessment.

18/06/2020 - Ensure there is the appropriate number & adequately trained staff onsite at all times to ensure fire safety measures met, including the evacuation process and any personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPS) in place.

17/06/2020 - If your business remains closed make sure you have left little or no rubbish in an area that can be accessed by the public. We have a section on the website with arson advice to prevent you becoming a target.

16/06/2020 - Is your building in a multi occupied building, where some businesses remain closed? Assess & evaluate the impact on your fire safety measures such as shared escape routes with other premises owners/premises management company. Always ensure escape routes are clear.

16/06/2020 - When you do reopen your business, DON'T forget the testing and maintenance of fire safety systems such as fire alarms, emergency lighting and extinguishers. To ensure these operate in the event of a fire to keep people safe.

15/06/2020 - Many businesses will be opening their doors or preparing too. We will look at fire safety considerations to help with the planning and implementation stage. Remember always update and follow your Fire Risk Assessment with any significant findings.

11/06/2020 - Propping open Fire Doors is NOT a viable option to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. They are vital fire safety measures, please keep them closed and follow government advice.

10/06/2020 - Schools are required to have a Fire Risk Assessment that lists hazards and responses to ensure safety for staff and pupils. We understand that under the current circumstances this may have been forgotten, however it must be updated and regularly checked.

09/06/2020 - If you or someone you know are involved with Early Years settings or schools, please visit our new webpage to learn how to keep your setting safe from fire during COVID-19.

22/05/2020 - If you have actioned your Business Continuity plan through COVID 19, take time to review/amend your Disaster Recovery plan. To help with this consider possible scenarios and plan for how your business will adapt/operate as we go through the Government phases to ease lock down.

20/05/2020 - Is your Business prepared for an emergency? We have a 10 minute assessment which outlines issues you need to consider and preparation for disruption to your day to day business. CLICK HERE to be taken to our Business Continuity dedicated webpage.

19/05/2020 - To mark the start of Business continuity awareness week. One way of reducing the threat of fire to your business is having a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment. Follow the 5 Step rule for fire risk assessment

18/05/2020 - Its Business continuity awareness week. Unsure what Business Continuity management is? Then look at this video. Keep a look on our social media throughout this week where we will have tips and hints to help your business.

18/05/2020 - Throughout this week our Business Safety Team will be promoting Sprinklers, they’ll even be posting common myths and the facts behind them. Check in with us each day this week to learn some interesting facts that could save lives

07/05/2020 - Businesses, remember not to leave rubbish outside your premises this bank holiday weekend, unfortunately ARSON happens .... Don't let this be your business ! 

06/05/2020 - We've been made aware of businesses propping open fire safety doors - do not do this, fire doors are a fundamental part of your buildings fire protection.

05/05/2020 - In the event of a fire, is there anyone in your business who wouldn't hear the fire alarm? If so there needs to be another way of raising the alarm. There are many solutions. Ensure to update your fire risk assessment and have a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) in place.

01/05/2020 - This is the first in our series of business safety videos! - We'll post the rest out daily over the next couple of weeks here, and on Cheshire Fire & Rescue's LinkedIn account - Keep following for the up to date business safety information!

24/04/2020 - Businesses we are aware life's changing every day. Whatever you're dealing with, we've got advice about protecting your business against fire.

18/04/2020 - Has COVID-19 triggered your business continuity plan? Was it successful? If not use the time to improve your plan we have a dedicated section on Business Continuity our website to help you. 

17/04/2020 - If your business is currently closed please take the time to check your fire safety documents are up to date and meet current legislation. There has been a number of arson attacks recently and you will need these documents if an incident occurs.

16/04/2020 - If your business has been closed due the COVID-19 virus can the responsible person please continue to test your fire alarms, check to see if there is rubbish outside your building that may attract arson and check that your fire doors are all closed.

16/04/2020 - Show appreciation for our NHS and key workers by not accidentally causing fires through the use of Sky Lanterns. Please get creative and tell us in the comments how YOU will be showing your appreciation. Sky lanterns warning

07/04/2020 - Whilst we all try and cope with COVID-19, fire safety in your business remains a priority. If changes have been made to how your premises is used, staffed or managed then consider the impact on fire safety.

01/04/2020 - Has the COVID-19 situation triggered your Business Continuity plan? Did you have a plan in the first place? If you need to make improvements or create a plan we offer free templates to help businesses put them in place.

01/04/2020 - Fire Doors need to be closed at all times in order to prevent the spread of fire and smoke. They must never be propped or wedged open as it compromises the safety of people inside the building, putting them at serious risk, should a fire occur.

01/04/2020 - If your business is closed why not use the time to check fire safety processes you have in place. If you need support or guidance go to our dedicated business safety section.

31/03/2020 - Businesses holding or storing extra stock beware! Check fire exits and walkways are never blocked, keeping your business, staff and customers safe.

27/03/2020 - Are you a business that's storing an increased level of flammable products at this current time? If so then you need to read our fire safety advice and adapt your procedures accordingly.

23/03/2020 - During these challenging times it is still important to follow your fire risk assessment / fire safety within commercial premises. Fire doors need to remain closed. Do NOT be tempted to wedge them open to avoid people touching the door.

Increased storage of flammable products

Are you storing increased flammable products due to demand relating to COVID-19?

The presence of large amounts of flammables in a premises means that a fire involving the flammables will grow quicker. This in turn means that you have less time to get out of the area. As such, you should look to introduce measures which provide faster warning of fire, shorten the time it takes to get out, and to increase the time available to get out.

Find out more - Increased storage of flammable products 

Social media 

For further updates please follow us on Twitter - @CheshireBFS (opens in new window)

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