While there’s still a lot up in the air at the moment, some offices have returned to business. But was fire safety forgotten during lockdown?
High Street Shops, Malls and Restaurants
The UK’s high street is making a slow return to business, thanks in part to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and somewhat relaxed social distancing measures. With fewer customers in stores, the retail landscape looks very different today than it did last year.
Many high street businesses used the lockdown period to make improvements and adapt to a new way of doing business; conducting deep cleans and installing equipment to aid social distancing.
But one aspect that can’t be overlooked, even during the pandemic, is fire safety.
Large high street shops and malls with fire curtain installations must ensure that they have updated fire risk assessments and post-lockdown fire safety protocols.
Maintaining and Servicing Fire and Smoke Curtains
After a building has been dormant for months at a time, key systems need to be properly investigated. For example, Legionnaires’ disease can develop in plumbing systems that haven’t experienced movement in long periods of time. The disease is ironically similar to coronavirus and symptoms include cough, shortness of breath and a high fever. The first run of a tap or flush of a toilet in a seldom-used building could cause the disease to be released into the air, with devastating effects especially given the pressures already exerted on healthcare infrastructure.
These investigations must be extended to fire safety systems, too. Regular maintenance and servicing of fire curtains and smoke curtains is essential, to ensure they’ll be in perfect working order when they’re needed. But after a long spell of unoccupied disuse, anything could have happened to a business premises.
Power surges may have caused unseen damage, a water leak could have occurred – even animals may have nested in key mechanisms.
It’s important to make sure that all fire curtains, smoke curtains, alarms and escape signage are in full working order before a building is reoccupied for business use.
Fire Drills and Evacuation
Complacency can kill. A worldwide pandemic is still not a good enough reason to let fire safety standards slip – so reinforce your teams with fire drills and mock evacuations, and make sure everyone knows your fire safety protocols.
Commercial Fire Curtains
We have deep expertise in commercial fire curtains for retail – from consultancy and specification through to installation and maintenance. Our experience in fire safety for public spaces extends around the world: we’ve installed the world’s largest FireMaster Concertina in a shopping mall in Singapore, consulted and specified fire safety equipment at the Louvre Abu Dhabi and installed smoke curtains at Sydney Opera House.
Fire Protection for Public Spaces
At Coopers Fire, we’re always developing, testing and improving our products – to keep us at the cutting edge of fire safety. To find out more about fire curtains for retail, or to enrol in one of our educational training courses, call us on 02392 454 405 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.