Businesses are facing enormous challenges as buildings are forced to close or operate on a limited basis due to the Coronavirus.

This may have resulted in your building having limited staff onsite due to home working, you may experience some issues with access control, lone working and security concerns.

Our insurer partner Zurich have put together a checklist of risk control measures to consider, to help secure buildings and to use as a reference point for regular checks during temporary closedown periods.

Risk Control Measures – 

  • Access Control: Carry out a security risk assessment including a review of your access control measures to ensure areas that are not in use are secured.
  • Close-down Checks: Ensure close-down checks are completed as standard. For example; setting intruder alarms, closing internal fire doors.
  • Intruder Alarm: If there are any unoccupied buildings on site, ensure the intruder alarm is set in for these areas i.e. zoned.
  • If your site has security guarding, still consider setting intruder alarms except for when the hourly security patrols are being completed.
  • Maintenance: So far as is reasonably practical, there is an expectation that essential maintenance continues with any remedial measures completed.
  • Hot Work: The emergency services may be strained at this time. Therefore, high risk activities such as hot work should be avoided or changed to lower risk alternatives. Please note, hot work must not be undertaken if you have isolated the sprinkler system.
  • Hot Work Permit: If hot work needs to continue, please ensure a task area risk assessment is completed, a Hot Work Permit is issued and named fire watchers are providers.
  • Contractor Control: Work with your contractor to ensure that their work area has been left in safe condition. For example, fire detection systems are reinstated, hazardous materials have been removed from site and fire and access doors have been secured.
  • Fire Systems: Ensure that any fire and/or sprinkler systems are fully operational.
  • Waste bins: Empty all waste bins and relocate to a secure area, ideally at least 10 metres from the building. If this is not possible and bins and skips are within 10m these should have lockable lids.
  • Unattended Processes: Avoid unattended hazardous processes if there are insufficient staff available to manage the process and or respond in the event of an emergency.
  • Please update any relevant risk assessments, for example: lone working, that remaining site staff include trained fire wardens, knowledge of the action to take in the event of an emergency.
  • With a limited staff presence, employees and contractors must not be exposed to new tasks for which they have not received appropriate training e.g. working at height or use of machinery.


This guidance may change as the current situation changes.