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)