This Section provides advice and instructions to those employees with responsibilities towards the management and operation of property to ensure that during this crisis period, properties, whether in temporary reduced usage or closed, are managed in a manner that keeps them safe and compliant for building users, secure and will enable them to be brought back into full use at the appropriate time in a safe manner.
Please read the information below regarding your site and what you need to consider in terms of maintenance, compliance and security whether you are open/closed or partially open.
During these uncertain times of Covid-19 you may face a temporary closure of all or part of the building.
It is therefore essential that all management teams start to consider and plan suitable arrangements for these changes.
In whatever manner you are operating your site, necessary consideration needs to be given to your site evacuation plans and risk assessments. These may need amending or adapting to provide for changes in operation and personnel.
When considering which rooms to occupy, consider what other facilities the users may need – i.e. kitchen facilities and toilets and ensure there is a clear walk way to facilities.
We have consulted with our compliance experts and the Councils insurers who have advised on the areas we must be considering to maintain safe and compliant premises during these unprecedented times:
The following advice is aimed at helping you to provide an appropriate level of security and safety for your premises during these closures or partial closure periods:
Maintenance Programs: Checks are required to ensure that maintenance programs on services including fire alarms, intruder alarms and sprinkler systems are up to date.
Legionella: The Health and Safety at Work Act still applies in the current situation and as such an employer or those in control of premises must continue to manage any risk arising from their activity and this includes legionella control e.g. regular flushing of unused systems. This becomes particularly important where buildings are under used or closed.
Other Statutory Inspections such asPeriodical Electrical Fixed Wire Testing and annual gas safety inspections are still required. You must ensure that contractors are given access to the site, where necessary, to carry out these inspections.
Risk Assessments: The Council, through Arc Partnership will endeavour to continue with its programme of risk assessments relating to fire, water quality and asbestos management. Where possible access will need to be granted to allow the surveys to be undertaken.
Consider isolation of non-essential services: Gas, water and electrical services left connected to empty properties present hazards with regards to fire and water damage. If the premise remains in close-down for an extended period, you should consider isolation of non-essential services. Ensure that the Intruder Alarm, Fire Alarm and any sprinkler systems remain active and fully effective. If water services are isolated, due consideration will need to be given prior to reoccupation to ensure the necessary checks and tests are undertaken ensuring a safe system (allow at least 2 weeks for reconnection of services).
Contractors: If work must be undertaken, the permit to work/hot work permit system should be strictly adhered to. Don’t forget to notify your Insurer of any hot works being undertaken.
We would recommend that you advise all contractors / visitors who attend your site to:
External lighting: Ensure external lighting is operating correctly and that any damaged fittings/bulbs are repaired or replaced.
Refuse and vehicle storage: Bins and skips should be located at least 10m from buildings and be secured in position. Ideally bins and skips should have lockable lids.
Minibuses/coaches: These should not be parked near the buildings (unless secure and alarmed garage etc.). This is due to the potential fire spread from a vehicle to the building.
Windows, doors and skylights: These must always be adequately locked and secured.
Intruder & Fire alarms: Ensure these are operating correctly and showing no faults. If the system is linked to a central monitoring station check that this link has not been broken and that the monitoring stations are able to detect activation.
Security patrols: Consider the need for security patrols, which may include random visits. This is of particular relevance if your property has suffered unwanted attention, and this aspect should be monitored during these extended periods of closure/partial closure.
Regular Site Inspections: We recommend that the premises are inspected at least fortnightly by an authorised representative to ensure that any defects or damage are noted and remedied as a matter of priority.
Access Control: Access control is vital should you face partial closure. Consider only opening entry/exits point that can be easily managed by the onsite skeleton staff to prevent unauthorised visitors.
Review Key holders: Ensure that key holders are not considered vulnerable and remain capable and available to respond to activations during any full or partial close-down. It may be necessary to put alternative arrangements in place, including the employment of a professional key-holding company to assist in this process. Ensure that the monitoring station for the intruder alarm has up-to-date key-holder details.
For all schools: please continue to notify the relevant teams via your usual communication - email@example.com
A number of sites have construction or maintenance projects which are due to start, or have already started, and we would wish to continue to progress these projects if access arrangements can be agreed. Arc Partnership’s Project Managers will continue to liaise with the site regarding the access and ongoing arrangements.
We would encourage continued/daily onsite presence and if provisions exist for building closures already, i.e. procedures taken during holiday periods, then these procedures should be taken forward during this unprecedented time.
We will continue to monitor the situation and will inform you of any further updates regarding our stance on temporarily closed/partial closed buildings in due course. In the meantime, it is necessary for you to confirm if you are remaining open or closed or are partially closed. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and keep us up to date with the situation regarding your site opening position.
Usual practices still apply, but in the event of an emergency you can contact ARC Assist by email: email@example.com or telephone number: 0115 838 4848 or out of hours 07850 795 405.
Closedown Check List
We have developed a checklist to help managers secure the premises and to use as a reference point for regular checks during any temporary closures. This form provides useful additional elements to inspect to ensure security at sites during Covid-19 closures. All usual building compliance and security management should remain in place during closure.
Link to Closedown Check list