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Covid-19

and Home Fire Safety Visits (HFSVs)

Our highest priority is always the safety of the public and our staff, so as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic we’ve changed how we’re carrying out HFSVs in order to minimise the risk to everyone involved.

Assessing the risk

Pre-booked visits

If you already have a visit booked we’ll call you on the day of your visit and ask you the questions below about fire risks in your home, and your health. If no-one answers our call, we won’t be able to visit, but we’ll leave a message if possible.

New visits

After you’ve requested a HFSV we’ll call and ask some questions that help us assess the fire risks in your home:

  • Are there currently any working smoke alarms in your home?
  • Do you live alone and are you or anyone you live with over the age of 70?
  • Do you or anyone you live with smoke?
  • Do you or anyone you live with have any health needs (physical, mental, sensory or mobility). If you do, we’ll ask for some more information about how that affects you.
  • Do you or anyone you live with use paraffin or petroleum-based emollient creams and smoke?
  • Are you or anyone you live with bed or chair bound?

As a general rule we’ll try our best to visit you if:

  • you don’t have any working smoke alarms, and answer yes to any two of the questions above, or
  • you have significant mobility issues and no working smoke alarm in the room you spend time in

However, we’ll make an assessment on a case-by-case basis, so even if you don’t meet the criteria above, we might still be able to visit.

What happens next?

If we agree that you’re at higher risk we’ll ask a few more questions about your health:

  • Would anyone in your home prefer we reschedule our visit as a result of the current pandemic?
  • Is anyone in your home classified as vulnerable or extremely vulnerable according to current Government guidance?
  • Is anyone in your home showing symptoms of Covid-19 such as a high temperature (greater than 37.8◦C)?
  • Is anyone in your home showing symptoms of Covid-19 such as a persistent dry cough?
  • Is your household self-isolating due to showing symptoms of Covid-19?

If you answer ‘no’ to all these questions a crew may visit you, using appropriate hygiene precautions and following social distancing guidance. 

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions then we’re likely to offer to re-arrange your visit. We’ll contact you again to set a new date for the appointment, but provide information about where to find advice in the meantime.

However, if you’re shielding or self-isolating because you’re vulnerable and/or have symptoms, and an urgent visit is necessary, then we’ll discuss the options available and make a decision on a case-by-case basis.

The day of the visit

On the day of the visit we’ll call you and ask you the questions about your health again – in case anything has changed. If no-one answers our call, we won’t be able to visit, but we’ll leave a message if possible.

What if we can’t visit?

If there’s not a significant risk our crews are likely to postpone their visit until after the pandemic has ended, however we’ll still provide advice over the phone on topics including:

  • Smoke detection and testing
  • Safe management of ignition sources – electrics, smoking, cooking, candles, heaters
  • Ability to respond in the event of a fire and how to summon help
  • Escape plans
  • Night-time routine (switching appliances off / closing doors)
  • Where to find further information

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