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Reopen your school safely with Fireco

Reopen your school safely with Fireco

The Government has made the decision that all schools will be reopening for the new term in September. Preparations and precautions will have already been put in place when the children of key workers were still attending school. However, with all students, staff and visitors returning in September a new risk assessment will need to be carried out to ensure everyone is in a safe environment.

Places of education have a duty of care to students and will already use the Governments advice on Health and Safety. However, it is important that a specific Coronavirus Risk Assessment is completed. By doing this, Coronavirus hazards can be identified, measured and controlled. 

There are different resources available for Coronavirus Risk Assessments, however, The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has created this template which can be used by all industries.

Fireco’s products have already been helping many businesses, hospitals and schools with their germ-control. Here are some of the hazards identified by HSE that Fireco can help with.

  • Ventilation

Buildings should have good ventilation and fresh air circulating throughout. Our hold-open devices allow you to legally and safely hold your doors open which will improve airflow. When the fire alarm is activated, the doors will automatically close.

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE such as masks, gloves, and face shields may be necessary for certain staff members. For example, school catering assistants may need to have full PPE to prepare and serve food to staff and students. Fireco’s face shields can be used alongside masks to help protect from germs. 

  • Pinch points

High traffic areas in the school such as Reception, hallways, doorways, toilets, lifts, changing rooms, canteens, break rooms etc are going to need to be monitored. Our hold-open devices will allow you to keep your doors open, reducing the need to touch door handles, limiting the risk of cross-contamination. Our Smart Sanitising System, Germgard, can be installed by entry and exit points, which will promote the use of hand sanitiser before passing through.

  • Anxiety around Coronavirus

Being isolated from lockdown and social distancing can heighten feelings of anxiety about returning to normal activities such as attending school. Many students and staff members will need assurances and physical evidence that there are practices in place to maintain hygiene. Germgard is a clear and visual way to encourage good hygiene. A sensor will detect someone approaching and a screen with digital signage will prompt them to use hand sanitiser before entering. This system could be ideal for a reception area, break room, or delivery bay as staff and visitors passing through will use hand sanitiser before being allowed entry. Our hold-open devices can create a more open atmosphere and reduce the need to touch door handles, this could also be encouraging for people who are concerned about contaminated surfaces.

  • Inadequate hygiene

If people on the school premises are not keeping up good personal hygiene, they could easily cross-contaminate items they touch. Germgard is designed to promote good hygiene practices to building users through the use of hand sanitiser. It can also be integrated with access control and other systems to further reinforce sanitisation by only allowing entry once the sanitiser has been used.

Fireco can help keep schools fire-safe and COVID-secure. If you would like to know how we can help your school, contact us today on 01273 320650.

See how we’ve recently helped businesses return to work

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How Fireco can help with your Coronavirus risk assessment

How Fireco can help with your Coronavirus risk assessment

Coronavirus lockdown restrictions are gradually lifting and a phased plan is in place to reopen businesses. This means that all businesses must prepare return strategies in order to make their building safe for staff, customers and visitors.

The Government’s Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has devised a COVID-19 Risk Assessment designed for employers to use in order to ensure their workplace COVID-19 secure. The guidance aims to help businesses identify and manage the risks associated with reopening during the pandemic.

Employers should already have a standard Risk Assessment in place in order to keep their employees and others safe, as this is part of the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. This existing Risk Assessment can be adapted in order to suit the current risks associated with Coronavirus. The basic steps to creating a Risk Assessment include:

  • Identify hazards: What could cause injury or illness?
  • Measuring the level of risk: How likely is it that the risk will lead to injury or illness?
  • Take action: Reduce risks or, if possible, eliminate them.

If you need help to identify potential areas of risk in your business, HSE has put together a COVID-19 Risk Assessment template which can be printed and filled out. 

Fireco products can help you reduce the risks and contribute towards keeping your building germ free.

Here are some of the hazards that the HSE include in their assessment that Fireco can help with.

“Poor workplace ventilation leading to risks of coronavirus spreading”

Our hold-open devices will allow you to legally and safely hold your doors open throughout the building, improving airflow

“Exposure to workplace hazards because it isn’t possible to get normal personal protective equipment (PPE)”

Fireco’s face shields can be used with other PPE e.g. masks to help keep your staff safe from germs. They have up to 4-hour wear and can be fully recycled.

“Getting or spreading coronavirus in common use high traffic areas such as canteens, corridors, rest rooms, toilet facilities, entry/exit points to facilities, lifts, changing rooms and other communal areas.”

We have a range of products which can help with germ control for pinch points and shared surfaces. Our hold-open devices will allow you to keep your doors open, reducing the need to touch door handles, limiting the risk of cross-contamination. Our Smart Sanitising System, Germgard, can be installed by entry and exit points, which will promote the use of hand sanitiser before passing through.

“Mental health and wellbeing affected through isolation or anxiety about coronavirus”

Being isolated from lockdown and social distancing can heighten feelings of anxiety about going back to ‘normal’. Walking into a building after a few weeks or months and seeing nothing has changed will be very daunting for employees. Our hold-open devices can create a more open atmosphere and allow people to pass through without having to touch door handles. Germgard is a clear and visual way to show people that you have safety measures in place.

“Getting or spreading coronavirus by not washing hands or not washing them adequately”

Germgard is designed to promote good hygiene practices to building users through the use of hand sanitiser. It can also be integrated with access control and other systems to further reinforce sanitisation by only allowing entry once the sanitiser has been used.

Fireco’s product range can help unite both your COVID-19 and Fire Risk Assessments. If you would like to know how we can help your business with germ control and fire safety, contact us today on 01273 320650.

See how we’ve recently helped businesses return to work

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Fireco releases new product to help businesses return to work safely

Fireco releases new product to help businesses return to work safely

Fireco has released its newest innovation, Germgard, a smart sanitiser combined with digital signage. Germgard has been designed to promote awareness of the importance of hand sanitisation to all building users.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, good hygiene practice has become more important than ever before. We have already helped many customers improve their infection control with our hold-open devices, which can reduce the need to touch door handles. However, we wanted to help our customers further, by designing a system that promotes the highest standard of hygiene.

Germgard is a smart sanitising system which monitors people passing through your chosen doorways. A sensor will detect someone approaching and a screen will show a message prompting them to use the hand sanitiser before passing through. Germgard can be combined with a range of door systems so that the use of hand sanitiser is a requirement before gaining entry. 

Germgard can be used as a stand-alone system or it can be integrated with electronic door locks, automatic doors, and access control systems.

We are really excited to add Germgard to our product portfolio, as we can now offer a full range of products for germ control.

Helen Elligate - Marketing Manager

Our customers require visual, physical products as evidence in promoting their return to work strategy to their workforce. Germgard meets those requirements, ensuring best practice, encouraging occupants to self-police when moving around the building.

James Wheeler - Chief Commercial Officer

For more information about Germgard or how Fireco solutions can assist with return to work strategies, call our team today 01273 320650.

Be the first to see how Germgard works through our live demo

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What has the Bolton student accommodation fire taught us?

What has the Bolton student accommodation fire taught us?

In November 2019 third-party student accommodation in Bolton known as ‘The Cube’ went up in flames. It took 40 fire engines and 9 hours for the fire service to get it under control and left 220 students with no belongings or place to live.

The University of Bolton, although not liable, re-homed all of the students affected, placing them in hotels, providing them with food and toiletries and giving each of them £500 cash to buy essential items. This cost the University around £1M.

The blaze has since raised issues about the safety of residents in third-party student accommodation.

Dangerous Cladding

The fire is thought to have been caused by a discarded cigarette, however, this is still under investigation. In the meantime, the biggest question being asked is why did the fire spread in a way that resembled the Grenfell tragedy.

Much research has been carried out on cladding used on high-rise buildings. Although the one used on The Cube (high-pressure laminate) was not the same type as the one used on Grenfell (aluminium composite material), it is still classed as a flammable material.

Fire alarms ignored by students

The Manchester Evening News interviewed some of the students who had fled the building and found that many of them didn’t respond when the fire alarms went off.

“I was just sitting there, hanging about and not really doing anything. Then someone knocked on my door.”

“The fire alarm was going off but nobody was paying any attention. It goes off all the time, maybe every hour during the day because someone has done something in the kitchen and it’s set off the alarm.

“if it had gone up in the middle of the night everyone would have slept through the alarm. We have slept through them before when there were non-emergencies.”

Bolton University Students

Universities urged to review fire safety

Whilst the causes and spread of the fire were being uncovered and investigated, Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, wrote to all universities urging them to review their own and their third-party providers fire safety procedures. This came after Union Leaders wrote to him raising concerns for students’ health and safety.

What can Universities and their providers do in order to be compliant and increase the safety of students?

Union Leaders proposed to Gavin Williamson that the following actions should be taken:

  • Remove dangerous and flammable cladding on educational buildings.
  • Carefully consider the use of building materials on all new builds and avoid the use of cladding known to be dangerous.
  • Fit sprinklers in new accommodation and educational buildings.
  • Review of all educational buildings to establish if standards are being met.

Other actions that can be taken include:

  • Arrange for a fire risk assessment to be carried out by a professional body so that all risks can be identified and eliminated.
  • Put in place systems that can ensure the safety of all students like Fireco’s Deafgard or Digital Messaging System.
  • Carry out regular fire drills and evacuations with students so they are prepared if a fire does occur.
  • Teach students basic fire safety awareness, for example, common causes of fires and preventative measures and how to use provided fire equipment.

Fireco is here to make compliance easy. If you need help with fire safety in your university or accommodation facility, contact us today on 01273 320650.

Upgrade your fire safety and reduce your maintenance

*Photo credit @Manchesterfire on Twitter

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Doorsets made easy

Doorsets made easy

Since Grenfell, compliance with fire safety procedures has been in the spotlight. It has become increasingly difficult to know whether what you are buying is really going to be safe and this has made buying doorsets even harder.

Specifying a doorset can be challenging and often filled with uncertainty. “Have I definitely added all the parts I need?” “How do I know that I’m buying compliant products?”. We have been working with our partners to create something that makes buying a doorset easy.

“Fire doors are a massive talking point in the industry and having compliant doorsets is something that comes up in a lot of client meetings. At Fireco our motto is ‘Compliance made easy’ which means the next logical step for us was to build an easy way of specifying a doorset.” 

Alex Babbage - Key Accounts Manager

We’re sure that you’ll find our new door selector simple and efficient to use. It helps you navigate through the buying journey and builds a virtual doorset so that you can visualise what you’re buying. 

Our new door selector uses a British Woodworking Federation (BWF) accredited door manufacturer, a range of CE marked hardware and where possible we use third-party accredited products.

Specification sheets and catalogues will no longer be needed. Doorsets made easy.

Build your doorset the easy way

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