BAFE STATED in an announcement that while the government’s new restrictions do ‘not directly affect fire safety work’, it believes ‘stronger requirements’ for face masks ‘should be implemented consistently within the fire safety industry’.

The organisation stated that with the new restrictions announced by the government, which do ‘not directly affect fire safety work’, it ‘fully support[s]’ the new advice relating to ‘stronger requirements for face coverings’, and believes that these ‘should be implemented consistently within the fire safety industry’. This is ‘especially important’ with technicians working on site at care facilities, as well as other buildings ‘where vulnerable people may be exposed to the virus’.

BAFE also noted that with the clarification at the start of the lockdown in March that fire and security personnel ‘can play a vital role’ as key workers, this has ‘categorically’ not changed, with fire safety legislation continuing to be enforced. It said that it will ‘continue to prompt all BAFE registered companies that they should be in contact with their clients to remind them of their legal obligations in the interest of life safety’.

For BAFE, ‘it is imperative with any changes made to accommodate COVID-19 safety measures that any fire safety in place has not been compromised’, and it is ‘vital that fire risk assessments are reviewed as soon as possible if they have not been already’, with any changes ‘implemented as quickly as possible to keep buildings compliant with fire safety legislation’.

BAFE chief executive Stephen Adams commented: ‘The industry must lead by example. Simple actions such as wearing face masks and keeping hands sanitised when working on site can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 whilst continuing to help people meet their fire safety responsibilities. This is especially important in the upcoming colder months of the year, where ventilation may become worse inside.’