February 26, 2021
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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the need to keep workplaces safe has brought many changes to the way we work, with many people now working from home or extra hygiene and measures to support social distancing being put in place in workplaces.

Some of the measures put in place to control Covid have implications for fire safety and a number of questions have been raised such as:

> Can I use fire extinguishers to prop open fire doors so lots of people don’t have to touch the same door handle?

> How many fire wardens do I need if there are only a few people in the office?

> How can I maintain social distancing during a fire drill?

The answer to these and many others will depend on your individual circumstances and the particular risks. Many places, for example, have substituted enhanced fire safety training for carrying out traditional fire drills, although in some cases it is still necessary to carry out smaller scale rehearsals of emergency procedures.

The Fire Industry Association (FIA) have brought together a number of these concerns in a new guidance document “Guidance on Fire Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic”. This is free to download from the FIA’s website at:

The correct procedures for your workplace will depend on your particular circumstances and assessment of the risk. Please speak to your normal PIB Risk management contact or get in touch using [email protected] if you have any questions or would like assistance with developing or reviewing a fire risk assessment for your workplace.