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London Fire Brigade Strike Action - Working together to Support Aviva Policyholders

With the London Fire Brigade Strikes in November 2010, we issued the below guidance:

It is vitally important that businesses and property owners continuously exercise a high level of diligence in maintaining protective measures and review fire safety routines and procedures.

It is inevitable that during strike periods that the Capital will not benefit from the same levels of emergency fire cover nor will sophisticated fire fighting and rescue equipment and techniques always be available to temporary fire crews. There are a number of safety considerations for business and property owners to consider in the period before and during the proposed periods of strike action including:

  • Review fire risk management plans and consider whether or not additional control measures need to be put in place during strike periods and, if high risk processes or activities can be limited or suspended. Where this is not possible, extra vigilance or monitoring should be put in place.
  • Re-scheduling any proposed 'hot work' at the premises to a time outside the strike periods should be seriously considered
  • Review Business Continuity plans and in particular, actions in response to fire where there is the possibility that no fire appliances attend or the attendance is ineffective and adjust your plans accordingly
  • Occupiers should summon the fire service in the normal way using the 999 system, but be prepared for a delayed and/or limited response
  • Occupiers should brief staff, visitors and contractors in advance of strike periods to be extra vigilant and those responsible for fire action should plan accordingly and undertake additional safety checks during strike periods
  • Occupiers should check and confirm the function of fire protection systems and check firefighting equipment prior to strike action commencing
  • Occupiers whose fire alarms are remotely monitored should liaise with their Alarm Receiving Centre to confirm their procedures during periods of strike action. London Fire Brigade have stated that calls generated by automatic equipment may not be attended during strike periods.
  • Existing security arrangements should be checked prior to and during strike action. Premises may wish to consider the provision of additional security measures during strike periods to reduce the likelihood of deliberate fire setting.
  • Premises are most vulnerable during ‘out of hours' periods and fire risk management plans should be reviewed accordingly.
  • Occupiers should check the London Fire Brigade website for updates at www.london-fire.gov.uk/news/NewsReleases2009_PR23OctB.asp for updates

Premises hosting firework events should be encouraged to defer them until after the strike. Where this is not practical, additional safety precautions should be introduced including:

  • Moving the display further away from premises
  • Use ground level fireworks only (not rockets)
  • Combine garden displays to a single one at the most appropriate (safest) location (reduce in number and control better)
  • Have smaller bonfires
  • Have hoses and manual fire fighting equipment to hand
  • Post Look outs/Fire watches

Risk Management Help from Aviva is at Hand

Aviva has committed not to restrict its cover or service as a result of any action that may take place. However, as the leading commercial insurer, we see all to often the devastation and interruption, that the effects of fire, can bring to businesses. In an effort to minimise any increased risk to our customers during this period, Aviva in conjunction with the Fire Protection Association have produced a workplace risk management guide for use by our Intermediaries and Policyholders. The guide contains a number of checklists covering vital fire prevention topics to help prevent fires starting in the workplace.

click here to view the guide

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Risk Management Bulletins