Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service continue to closely monitor the Government response to coronavirus and the impact it has on us as a service.
As a result, we are making some changes to the way we do things to protect you and our frontline services. However, there is currently no change to the way we will respond to incidents. Keeping people who live, work and travel in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland safe is our priority. Whatever the situation, we will always be there for you if you need us in an emergency.
We are continually monitoring and managing the impact of coronavirus on our staff and communities, and we have contingency plans in place that allow us to change the way we operate so we can continue to provide our vital services. We intend to use operational staff who are not currently on front line duty to provide resilience to our frontline services if needed, increase remote working across our whole Service and reduce non-essential interaction with our public, but not at the expense of upholding our emergency service.
Temporally, we also need to stop doing a few things to keep our staff and communities safe during this time, and to ensure we can continue to respond to emergencies. We will continue with prevention and protection activities on a risk based approach, asking health related questions about the people we plan to visit as part of this approach.
As always, Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service is working hard to maintain communication and engagement with the public, and we will continue to deliver safety messages and updates though our website, social media channels and via local media when required.
Work Undertaken by the Service During COVID-19
During the Coronovirus pandemic, we have taken many actions to support our communities during this difficult time. We have supported the ambulance service, delivered prescriptions and food parcels to vulnerable people, assembled face masks to protect care workers and have carried out many other actions, as well as providing our normal fire service response. We have also adjusted the way we work, with all of our staff doing their utmost to help the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
For full details of how we have helped our communities and the actions we have taken, please view the report by clicking here.
Our Return to Work Risk Assessment
We have produced a risk assessment to ensure that any of our employees who return to work at Headquarters in Birstall are protected from the COVID-19 virus, as far as reasonably practicable.
The Government, NHS, emergency services and local authorities are all working together to fight the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). We are all encouraging every member of the public to help and play their role.
Detailed information about the virus, its symptoms, how to avoid catching it and what to do if you think you have it are available and can be found here.
Daily updates are being posted on gov.uk, which can be found by clicking here.
Visiting Our Service?
In light of the current situation regarding coronavirus, we’ve made the decision to postpone all our upcoming public events. Further details in regards to when these will be rescheduled will be released as soon as possible. Keep an eye on our website and social media channels for updates.
Home Safety Checks
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, we adopted a risk-based approach with regards to Home Safety Checks.
We will risk assess home visit on a case by case basis regarding fire risks. You may receive a call from one of our Community Educators to establish the risks within your home or that of your family member to see whether a visit is viable or to offer advice by telephone.
However, if you are expecting a visit from us and think you may be suffering from coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating, please let us know in advance by contacting us.
Business Fire Safety
We have also adopted a risk-based approach with regards to business fire safety inspections.
Responsible persons are reminded that they are responsible for:
- ensuring fire safety
- protective and preventative measures
- the safety of any employees and relevant persons on their premises
Your fire risk assessment should be reviewed regularly, as the coronavirus situation continually changes. You should consider:
- Staffing levels, for example in care homes, should be maintained to ensure the emergency plan can be effectively managed
- Any contingency planning should include emergency evacuation
- Where stock piling of essentials has become necessary, this increases the fire loading. Ensure that this does not come into contact with ignition sources i.e. light fittings, and does not compromise the means of escape
- Maintain physical fire safety measures to prevent fire spread. We do not recommend propping open fire doors to minimise contact and spread of the virus
- Business are advised to follow Public Health guidance, particularly hand washing and social distancing
- Staff to be extra vigilant to prevent accidental fires, separating ignition sources from combustible items, etc.
For urgent matters and where it is considered that there may be a risk to life, the attendance of a Fire Protection Officer will be made.
Officers will be provided with extra personal protection to reduce the risk of coronavirus spread.
For businesses that visit other properties we ask for your help to be extra vigilant for any increased fire risk and to report any concerns.
For further guidance, please see the documents below:
As more people are spending time at home, whether that be due to home working arrangements, shielding or self-isolating, we’ve put together some tips and advice in order to help keep you, your family and belongings safe. This can be found by visiting our Your Safety at Home page.
As always, if you believe there is an emergency call 999 immediately. We will always respond and be there for you when you need us in an emergency.