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Commercial Services
Business Safety - Coronavirus
Press Release - Fire and Rescue Service provides bespoke fire safety advice to care homes during Covid-19
Posted on 21/05/2020

Business Safety Officers at Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service have launched a new business safety protection strategy to support the most vulnerable businesses whilst social distancing measures are in place.

This week, the Service will start making initial telephone calls to 800 care homes across the two counties to provide general fire safety advice and additional support. A more detailed phone call to discuss specific requirements will follow at a later date.

“We’re aware businesses are operating in an uncertain environment. Our aim as a Fire Service is to ensure businesses are both safe and comply with their duties under fire safety law, whilst also understanding that these are exceptionally challenging conditions for all,” said Nick Jones, Fire Safety Protection Delivery Manager.

On 18 March 2020, following UK Government advice via Public Health England and the National Fire Chiefs Council, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service suspended its risk-based inspection programme.

Since then, we have continued to respond to fire safety concerns and provide advice to businesses remotely, via telephone and video call, prioritising ‘high risk’ sectors such as healthcare providers and care homes.

The Service Business Safety team understands that owners and managers of care homes will have conflicting priorities during the Covid-19 restrictions.  Our new strategy aims to ‘educate, inform and support’ businesses to ensure they continue to keep people who work, stay, and visit their premises safe from fire during these challenging times. 

We will also be re-starting our risk-based inspection programme by incorporating a remote assessment as an alternative to physical inspections - where appropriate - to protect vulnerable occupants.

This new way of working adheres to Government guidance to prevent Covid-19 escalation, protects staff and ensures statutory requirements are met. We will continue to monitor and adapt our strategy as Government guidance is updated.

If you have any fire safety questions related to premises regulated by fire safety law, such as care homes or workplaces, contact the Fire Safety Help Desk on 01392 872567, 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, or email firesafetyhelpdesk@dsfire.gov.uk.

More information about business safety is on our website: http://www.dsfire.gov.uk/YourSafety/SafetyAtWorkAndOtherPlaces/


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