Notwithstanding the risks arising from COVID-19, any relevant national legislation in the field of fire protection remains true and the duties arising therefrom remain unchanged. Fire safety regulations, however, are not prescriptive, thus ensuring that adequate supplemental or alternative fire safety measures are enacted and that they ensure that the overall purposes of the legislations are fulfilled, their responsibility will be discharged by the responsible person.
In both cases, a review of the current fire risk assessment, fire safety arrangements and fire policies must be the initial starting point in order to decide if they remain relevant when making improvements to the premises that were made in response to COVID-19. The following can include, but are not necessarily limited to, specific changes to the premises.
· Reduced occupancy
· The shortage of key employees, such as fire guards and assembly marshals
· Reduced capacity in the event of an evacuation to document the presence of, and account for, workers, contractors and tourists
· One-way or queueing schemes
· Erection of screens and obstacles
· Arrangements for waste management
· Location of assembly points
· The right to assess the evacuation status of parts of the building under others' control
· Storage of large alcohol-based hand cleanser amounts.
After reviewing the improvements that have been made within the premises, the fire protection arrangements would then need to be reviewed and amended so that they remain acceptable and adequate and, most of all, workable under the present conditions.