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Following on from the confirmation from James Brokenshire MP, Minister of State for Security that all individuals in the fire sector actively working to improve public fire safety have been identified as key workers, the Fire Industry Association (FIA) has issued practical advice to contractors as to how best maintain compliance with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005(RRFSO) directives during the Covid19 lockdown period.
The FIA commented: “A fire industry professional will know when service and maintenance work should be performed over a set period of time to comply with fire safety regulations, yet problems can emerge when contractors are not permitted access on-site due to coronavirus safeguards.
“Our advice is to explain clearly to the client that this is their decision not to allow you to complete the scheduled work, and it is the role of the premises’ management (Responsible Person or Duty Holder dependant on location) to ensure they fulfil their fire safety obligations. If access permission is still not granted, you should document timings and communications to use later as evidence (should it be needed) that you have acted responsibly for your clients.”
Documenting the reasons for any non-compliance to Fire Regulations is an essential safeguard for contractors against any possible future legal or reputational damage.
It is also important to remember that if you are permitted access to a potential contagion site to service and maintain fire equipment, the Government’s appropriate Coronavirus guidance regarding social distancing and infection control must be closely followed to ensure you are not unnecessarily increasing risk to anyone in the premises or yourself.
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