As more and more states issue stay-at-home orders that require non-essential businesses to shut down, NAFED has received several calls asking if the service and maintenance of life safety and fire protection equipment and systems is considered an essential business.
We have reviewed several of the state orders and descriptions regarding essential businesses. We have also had discussions with others in the industry, and our consensus opinion is that YES, the installation, service, and maintenance of life safety and fire protection equipment is an essential business.
Although your operations are essential, you must remember that business is not “as usual.” You must take all the safety precautions that are currently required. Some actions that you should consider are:
NAFED along with FEMA and the Government Regulations Committee are monitoring the situation and a paper is being prepared for submittal to state and provincial agencies. Mark Conroy of Brooks Equipment is coordinating these efforts.
Visit the CDC, NIOSH, and your state's website for additional information.
There will be other changes to your operations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is important to remember to be safe.
We also have received additional guidance from industry partners and the Department of Homeland Security regarding essential operations during this time:
Guidance for Maintaining Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems Regardless of Occupancy Status (NFPA)
Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce (DHS - Cyber & Infrastructure Security Agency)
NAFED staff participated in a webinar "Coronavius (COVID-19): What You Need to Know" presented by the National Safety Council in partnership with the CDC. We've been given access to share this webinar with you so you can stay informed on what the World Health Organization is now classifying as a global pandemic and consider what steps may need to be taken for yourself, your business, and your employees, if you haven't already.
View the presentation here.
Other helpful links on COVID-19:
• An infographic from CDC explaining how to keep workplaces, schools, homes and commercial sites safe from coronavirus
• OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
• NIOSH Guidance on coronavirus in workplaces
• CDC guidance on mass gatherings and large events
• CDC tips on what to do if you are sick
Regarding the Conference
NAFED is aware that the progressing situation may impact our future scheduled events. We are in close touch with our event venues in Atlantic City and Chicago and will be monitoring all local advisories. If there are any changes, we will update you as soon as that decision is made. We understand if you need to make changes to your reservation and will be waiving the cancellation fee.
Be safe and be well.