As more and more states across the country are requiring that non-essential business shut down temporarily, there are a number of industries and services that have been deemed by their governing authorities as essential and have therefore been granted permission to remain open and operational during the shutdowns. In all states in which CertaSite operates, fire and life safety has been deemed an essential business and remains open for regular service, repair and emergency service work to all businesses.
But why is fire and life safety considered an essential business? We're glad you asked!
According to the NFPA (The National Fire Protection Association), a global leader in fire, life and electrical safety, in order to avoid exasperating the current environment by compromising fire and life safety, and potentially leaving buildings vulnerable to vandalism, systems should be maintained in all commercial and multi-occupancy residential buildings during and certainly after the global COVID-19 pandemic.
More specifically, as it relates to CertaSite's customers, the NFPA recommends the following:
- All commercial and multi-occupancy residential buildings should maintain fully operational fire and life safety systems as required by the applicable codes and standards. (NFPA 25, NFPA 72®, NFPA 101®)
- Those responsible for these buildings should adhere to the expected schedules for inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) that are vital to their operation. If they are unable to do so, they should contact their local authority having jurisdiction.
- Public and private employees who perform the inspection, maintenance, and other responsibilities for these systems should be deemed essential workers.
- Doors in fire-protection rated construction and smoke barriers are passive systems within the building fire safety program. Blocking open smoke or fire-protection rated doors can compromise the integrity of a building’s compartmentation plan. Maintaining these opening protectives is critical, especially in health care occupancies. (NFPA 80)
- Emergency power systems are integral to building operation during emergency events (fire and power loss) and the ITM requirements. Without emergency power systems in proper working order, fire alarm systems may not work as intended. (NFPA 110)
A complete outline of the NFPA's recommendations can be found here and additional information on their response to coronavirus is found on their website: https://www.nfpa.org/Codes-and-Standards/Resources/Standards-in-action/NFPA-responds-to-the-coronavirus.
The bottom line is this, as life safety professionals we know and appreciate how critical the life safety systems are in the protection and safety of your employees and customers; as well as what you have worked hard to build. We know what can happen if these critical systems go without regular maintenance and they go into a failed status. With so many business closed at this time and buildings unoccupied, this is a perfect opportunity for systems to fall in disrepair. This is also the perfect opportunity for you to complete your regular maintenance and inspection.
CertaSite is fully complying with the CDC's and NAFED's (National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors) recommendations as they relate to protecting our employees and customers during this time. Below is what you can expect from us while we are onsite. As life safety professionals, we firmly believe in protecting you and our associates.
- Practice social distancing - keep 6' from all other humans
- Service technicians conduct and complete a health survey for each job
- Protective gloves worn while completing all work
- Each truck and technician are armed with hand sanitizer and will disinfect on a regular and frequent basis
In addition, we have put into place a COVID-19 emergency preparedness plan that has defined protocols and response measures that enable us to be responsive and timely and to limit the spread of COVID-19. This plan includes customer communications as well as the below impacts to our internal operations as noted below.
- At this time our offices are closed to walk-in customers
- All office workers are working remotely
- Technicians are limited in their time at the office
- Implemented a COVID-19 internal website for all associates to inform and educate associates on all health and safety protocols
As a provider of fire protection and life safety products and equipment necessary to maintaining safety, CertaSite sees your bigger picture and is here to help. If you are closed, now is a good time to complete your required repairs and maintenance to keep your life safety systems up and running. To schedule service or request a quote, get in touch with your local CertaSite representative or office, or reach us via our contact form.
Please stay safe and healthy and let us know how we can better serve you. We welcome your questions and concerns and are here to continue serving the essential fire and life safety needs of your operation.
CertaSite is a commercial fire protection and life safety company founded in 2018. We take a new approach to fire and life safety, going beyond compliance to give our clients an unmatched level of customer service and tech-based control over their fire and life safety systems. Our team of experts serves more than 15,500 customers in more than 13 markets. Visit www.CertaSitePro.com for more information.