Unoccupancy checks – keeping your venue safe during lockdown

The government has released new guidance regarding UK lockdown. Unfortunately for businesses in the leisure and hospitality industry, it doesn’t look like bars and restaurants will be opening up again any time soon. 

If you have completed all necessary dormancy checks, you may think you can leave your premises untouched and unoccupied. This is not the case. You must continue to check your venue to make sure it’s still safe and adequately maintained. It’s your responsibility as a business owner to mitigate risk, and you must continue this even if your venue isn’t open to staff or members of the public. 

Check your building and equipment

All security and lockdown measures should continue to be maintained. Check all safety and security systems are operating as they should be. Fire safety equipment and security alarms must be in service date and tested where necessary. First aid stocks should also be available and in date. 

Regularly inspect your premises for any damage, water ingress or damaged pipes, and check over your storage and security facilities to make sure they are in a good state of repair. You should have a rota of key staff members in place to complete these checks. Keep up to date, accurate records. You should also check the outside areas of your venue. Ensure fences and gates remain secure, with no fly tipping or waste build up.

Continue checking your post, too. You may receive correspondence during lockdown that requires your attention.

You should also consider making sure all risk assessments are thoroughly up to date, and checking through your dormancy checks again to ensure compliance. 

It might seem like common sense to check your venue regularly, but it’s worth stating that you remain responsible for protecting your building and equipment. That’s why unoccupancy checks are so important.

You must think ahead

Be prepared to put strict social distancing rules in place when leisure and hospitality venues are allowed to reopen. It’s worthwhile putting a comprehensive plan in place to protect both your staff and customers so you’re ready to go when the time comes. 

Consider simple steps such as what PPE you’ll need, assess the risk of COVID-19 spread to control any potential exposure, implement awareness procedures and signage and plan to enhance your cleaning regimes. You should also consider developing a communication plan so you know how you will inform suppliers and customers about your reopening. 

Comply with your insurance policy

You must make sure your procedures and property is in compliance with your insurance. Notify your insurer or broker if there is any change to your business operations. For more information and to discuss your policy, get in touch with your dedicated Account Executive.