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Help your Fire and Rescue Service during COVID-19

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents and business owners to take care in their homes and with their businesses during the coronavirus outbreak.

These are challenging times for many, but our teams continue to be on hand to support our communities in their time of need. However, we’re asking our residents to help us too, by taking some precautions that will reduce the risk of an incident.

Councillor Christine Bateson, Community Safety Member Champion for Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, said: “We know that our residents are facing a very difficult situation, but your Fire and Rescue Service is here to support you. Whether this is how to stay safe at home, or how to protect your business, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service teams are on hand to offer you advice and support.

“Our communities are at the heart of everything we do, so we want you to know that we are continuing to respond to those most in need. You can help us to prevent incidents by following some simple steps.”

There are some simple things that you can do in this time to ensure that your home and your business are kept safe.

To help reduce the chance of an incident at home:

  • Avoid having bonfires at this time – they could become out of control, as well as putting pressure on your emergency services.
  • Please do not use sky lanterns to show your appreciation for the NHS during Clap For Our Carers – they can cause serious damage to property, crops and livestock.
  • If you’re trying out some cooking skills, ensure you don’t get distracted. If you need to leave the hob, turn it off first.
  • Test your smoke alarms weekly, ensuring you have one on every level of your home. They can provide a vital early warning in the case of a fire.
  • Plan an escape route from each room of your house, and make sure everybody in your household knows it.
  • If you’re now working from home, make sure you keep to one plug per socket, so it doesn’t become overloaded and catch fire.

For more home safety advice, please visit:

We know that these are also challenging and uncertain times for businesses too, and our fire safety team are on hand to provide advice and guidance on how to keep your business and employees safe.

You may be experiencing a significant increase or decrease in business demand, which may have resulted in changes to staffing levels or occupancy numbers that may require the need to review your fire safety measures.

To help keep your business and people safe:

  • Monitor what you are doing to implement the fire risk assessment to assess how effectively the risk is being controlled. You may need to review and revise your fire risk assessment if there have been significant changes.
  • Continue to ensure doors on escape routes can be easily and immediately opened without the use of a key or code, and ensure that fire doors are not wedged open.
  • Means of escape and fire exit doors must be kept clear of any obstructions and must not stop or slow down anyone using these escape routes, i.e. keep clear of stock and deliveries.
  • Review fire safety training and ensure that everybody understands what you expect of them in a fire situation.
  • If your premises are closed, make sure they are secured properly and review any security arrangements.

If you have any queries relating to fire safety, please contact our dedicated fire safety teams.