If you have to temporarily close your premises, we recommend that you take the following actions:
- Turn off all non-essential electrical appliances.
- If you need appliances to be left on, such as a fridge/freezer, make sure 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 the premises or if 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 the terms of your policy.
- Do not switch off your mains power supply to your fire alarm system if it is still required. 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 for use by other occupiers.
- Consider the risk of arson. Ensure your premises are secure but make sure escape routes can still be used in an emergency.
- Leave contact details in a place that is visible to fire crews should they have to gain entry to your premises.
You do not need to tell 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.
Securing premises is important to reduce the risk of arson. This includes removing any external sources of fuel or ignition which could cause fire spread. Ensure gates and fences are locked. Having CCTV, security systems and external lighting may help to prevent anti-social behaviour which can lead to arson.
Test and maintain the fire alarm and other fire safety systems
If the premises are closed, the fire safety systems may not need to be maintained. However, you should continue to test and maintain the fire alarm system where:
- it is required to protect people who still work or live within your premises
- it forms part of a communal fire alarm system for the building
- a fire on your premises would impact other people within the vicinity of your premises
- not doing so would impact the terms of your insurance policy. You should consider contacting your insurance company before taking any action.
If you are not sure of the purpose of any fire safety system please seek further advice from a competent person.