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Covid-19: Closing your premises

 

What should you do if you are closing your premises?


If you have made the decision to close your premises, we recommend that you take the following actions:

  • Turn off all non-essential electrical appliances
  • Where appliances do need to be left on, such as fridge/freezer, ensure they are well ventilated, kept clear of storage and there are no signs of any electrical faults
  • Do not switch off your fire alarm system where it is still required to protect people who live within your premises or where it forms part of a communal fire alarm system for the building. You should also consider discussing with your insurance company any actions likely to impact upon the terms of your policy
  • Do not switch off your mains power supply to your fire alarm system if it is still required and make arrangements to continue with regular checks to ensure the system remains in working order
  • Ensure any shared escape routes or way-leave agreements remain available to use by other occupiers where they remain open for business
  • Consider the risk of arson by ensuring your premises is secure
  • Leave contact details in a place which is visible to fire crews should they have to gain entry to your premises.

You do not need to inform us that you are temporarily closing your business but, you should notify the responsible person of any other premises who may be affected by your decision.


Before you bring your premises back into use you must ensure any fire safety system, for the protection of life, has been tested and is fully operational. You should arrange for a competent person to check your premises fire safety systems as soon as possible, especially for any premises which provide sleeping accommodation.

Arson advice


As many businesses have had to move out of their buildings temporarily, and at some speed, owners may not have had time to consider that vacant buildings are often more susceptible to the risk of fire (arson), criminal activity, misuse and malicious damage.


The Fire Protection Association have provided a free guide:


Security and arson protection advice for building and business owners and insurers - a free guide to managing the risk during the COVID-19 outbreak


This guide looks at what preparations, practical measures and security controls can be applied to help manage the risk.

 

Updated 22 June 2020


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