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Community Events - Covid 19


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As things appear to be slowly escalating, have many services decided on what they are going to do in respect of attending Community Events or indeed carrying out Safety Inspections or Home Safety Checks? 


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Yesterday morning, our group made decision to stop S+W, but would still go replace beeping alarms as and when, with precautions taken.

Yesterday afternoon, high ups decided S+W would still continue. We are to knock and step back from door by at least 2 metres. Ask a series of questions and depending on answers, will either come back after the crisis or don gloves and respirators to complete a visit. 

They also published all open day dates starting in a few weeks time,  so none of that has stopped either. 

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In Greater Manchester, we have just instigated the following:-

Safe and Well Visits 

As of 3pm on Friday 13 March, Safe and Well Visits will be stopped and crews should contact the occupier to complete the Safe and Well advice over the phone. The exception to this is high priority (arson threat) referrals that may require doorstep advice and the fitting of letter box protectors and smoke detection. Where a visit is required, colleagues should make telephone contact with the resident to ascertain if they are coronavirus symptoms – if not then the visit should go ahead as planned. If they do have symptoms then the visit can go ahead but crews should maintain as much distance as possible with the residents and the Officer in Charge is to review the PPE under a dynamic risk assessment. 

Community Rooms

As of 3pm on Friday 13 March, GMFRS is closing community rooms at all our fire stations and locations until further notice. All current community room bookings will be cancelled and no new bookings will be taken. Cancellation notices have been sent and information regarding the reopening of community rooms in the future will be available, but this will not be for several months.

Youth Engagement

Youth Engagement visits on fire stations will be subject to specific risk assessments and this will be communicated to the relevant partner. All school visits will be cancelled including at the Bury Training Centre. 


Direct engagement with businesses including Regulatory Inspections and 7(2)(d) visits have been paused for the interim period. Crews and regulatory staff should continue to undertake working practices such as telephone engagement to ensure relevant information is captured within appropriate systems (e.g. O.I.S).

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Since my last, S+W are all booked appointments with questions asked at booking and before entry. Yes to any questions, visit cancelled. No, visit as normal. Everything else we do is continuing, with RA’s to be carried out beforehand.

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  • 11 months later...

As we are heading towards the 12 months mark since lock down, a lot has happened within the UK Fire Service, both internally and externally. 

Considering the restriction above, how has this improved within your service. I see a lot of services now undertaking other tasks within the community, some even working at Vaccine centres. 

In GMFRS we are currently starting to have some staff train to drive ambulances, which seems a little late but its being done. 

So, what are you doing and is it helping?

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I think LFB are mainly doing ambulance driving. We were doing PMART but that got cancelled fairly quickly.

On a station level we have been doing lots of virtual community safety stuff for local schools and social groups

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Safe and well visits going ahead but with minimum number of crews inside the property and wearing of masks, distancing etc and the resident to be high risk and no working smoke alarms. Screened with a phonecall prior to our arrival to cover off the covid symptom, isolating questions. 

Just started getting involved with virtual visits for schools, taken a bit of tech to get it all set up but as we're not allowed in schools and won't be for a good few months yet this is the next best thing for them. We've set up with a laptop hooked up to a telly we can wheel around and with a microphone clipped to us connected over Bluetooth and then use Microsoft teams/zoom/Google meets to set up the visit.

The main advantage is you can cover off a visit for 1, 2, 3 classes as many as you like which you wouldn't be able to properly with a visit in person. Does take a bit of getting used to, but the teachers definitely appreciated us helping to fill their hours of online learning theyre having to organise at the moment! 

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So what has happened to regulatory fire safety work especially audits to high risk residential blocks,  hospitals and care homes?

I have read there's been a rise in some crimes such as fare evasion as people think there will be less inspection, so I wonder if some businesses are letting fire safety slip

With so much uncoordinated working from home, we are struggling with ensuring adequate fire wardens, so the evacuation of disabled staff is frankly a bit of a lottery

Then there's Brexit additional stock, covid PPE storage and gallons of flammable alcohol hand sanitizer to manage (I found some stored in an electrical riser cabinet!!)

Then the issue of maintenance.  Getting competent engineers is patchy, so I guess some routine planned maintenance is being dropped

So are FRS FS depts stepping up to audit these challenges or staying away to keep covid safe?

Its a tough call 😳


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In GMFRS we are continuing with visits. The FS departments are working constantly and the crews are undertaking a lot of work involving the High Rises within Manchester. 

The build environment is changing massively within Manchester and there are plans approved for over 85 new high rise buildings of which 80% have a residential element 

We have a lot of building with interim measures in place and gain, more work is being done in this area also. Unless the guys on the pumps who are on here can say anything contrary, I think we are doing more now in this field than ever before. 

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