Scotland’s businesses urged to ensure fire safety measures are in place post-lockdown

With Scotland entering phase three of exiting lockdown, the Scottish Fire and Rescue service has updated its advice for business owners.

Monday, 20th July 2020, 11:50 am
The SFRS is urging holiday letting businesses to ensure safety provisions at their premises are adequate. Photo: Lisa Ferguson
The SFRS is urging holiday letting businesses to ensure safety provisions at their premises are adequate. Photo: Lisa Ferguson

As “staycation” holidays become increasingly popular, SFRS is urging holiday letting businesses to ensure safety provisions at their premises are adequate.

Businesses should carry out or review fire risk assessments, ensure enough automatic fire detection systems and firefighting equipment are in place, ensure occupants are informed of what to do in an emergency and ensure al escape routes are safe.

Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Alasdair Perry said: “We appreciate that businesses and dutyholders who run holiday rentals will be excited to re-open and welcome people back to their facilities in the coming weeks and months.

“As demand for accommodation will undoubtedly increase, we are acutely aware that this could place pressure on business owners – however safety from fire must remain high on their priorities.

“We are therefore asking anyone who rents out a property as a holiday let to ensure that a thorough fire safety assessment has been carried out to determine if any action is required, before welcoming any guests to your facility.

“It is also important that those visiting are kept safe and aware of what fire safety measures are in place, and they know what to do should a fire occur during their stay.

“It goes without saying that these recent months have been trying times for Scotland as a whole, but we cannot become complacent and must continue to work together to drive down the risk of fire across the country.”

SFRS recently published guidance ensuring that social distancing measures do not impact fire safety and warned about the risk posed by excess stock and packaging.

With more retailers, public areas and workplaces reopening, it is important to prevent overstocks blocking fire exits and ensure there are enough waste collections to prevent overspill.

Mr Perry added: “We’ve already seen some businesses and buildings reopen, but we understand for many this will be the first time they will have opened their doors for quite some time.

“We appreciate that many workplaces will have taken robust measures to protect staff and members of the public through means such as the installation of plastic screening.

“However, we would also ask that businesses consider what impact any changes or installations could have on fire detection or fire safety measures.

“For example, it is possible that screening installation, along with any increased loading or materials in the premises, may obstruct automatic fire detection apparatus such as smoke alarms.

“We would also remind people to manage their premises for excess stock and waste and to consider if this would increase the risk of a fire, or hamper fire safety measures and escape plans.

“We would also remind both staff and members of the public that one-way systems in place, installed to manage social distancing, need not be followed in the event of any emergency. If fire occurs, occupants of buildings should continue to leave by the nearest exit or emergency route as quickly as possible.”

For further advice, see here for details of your local SFRS contacts.