Covid-19 response

Our response to Covid-19 (coronavirus) has changed some of our working practices. Read about how we responded to the pandemic and the steps we've taken to keep our staff and the public safe. We also share some of the ways that we've supporting our partners during the pandemic, such as driving ambulances, fitting PPE and helping set-up vaccination centres. 

How we're working

We are continually monitoring and managing the impact of coronavirus on our staff and communities. We have made some changes to the way we do things to protect our staff, communities and services:

  • increased home-working for our support staff
  • restricted access to stations to station staff only
  • cancelled all community events and station visits
  • cancelled educational talks but please see our online resources
  • cancelled the fire cadets programme at fire stations.

Supporting our partners

We are ready and willing to assist our partners to help manage the impact of the pandemic on our communities. For example, we have staff supporting community testing in Devon and others who are helping the ambulance service by driving frontline ambulances. Our staff have also helped with the set-up of a mass vaccination centre, fitting of PPE for NHS and clinical support staff, delivering essential items to vulnerable residents.

We will support wherever risk and resources allow. The safety of our staff is vitally important to us and we have measures in place to keep our people safe when performing these roles while still being able to maintain our emergency response cover. This includes regular lateral flow testing and aligning any testing with that of the partner organisation we are supporting. To keep our staff safe, we use the National Fire Chiefs Council's risk assessments and guidance from Public Health England.

Report on the collaboration and multi-agency working during the Covid-19 pandemic (National Fire Chiefs Council report)
Download

What you can do to help

Keeping yourself safe

Help us by taking some simple steps to protect yourself and others, such as:

  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home and test your smoke alarms once a week.
  • Ensure your chimney has been swept before lighting your fire or stove. Find out more about chimney safety.
  • Make sure your electrical equipment is safe.
  • Avoid having bonfires. If you can't avoid having one, please use an incinerator if you can, and make sure you light it well away from anything that could burn such as sheds, fences and your home. Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby, and never leave it unattended.
  • If there is heavy rain, ice or flooding, slow down your driving. Never drive through floodwater.

Keeping our crews safe

If you see firefighters at an incident, please try to stay at least two metres away.

Fire safety at home

You can find safety advice on a variety of topics on our website in our safety information.

We continue to carry out free home safety visits. Our friendly home safety advisers will follow the latest guidance and take steps to keep you safe, like sanitising their hands before entering your home, wearing a face covering and observing social distancing.

We are also able to help you with fire safety advice over the phone on 0800 05 02 999.

Advice for businesses

We continue to offer help and advice to enable businesses to meet fire safety duties and responsibilities.

Read our latest advice on how to ensure the ongoing safety of your premises during coronavirus.

If you would like to speak to a fire safety officer, please contact our helpline on 01392 872567 Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm or email firesafetyhelpdesk@dsfire.gov.uk.