CORONA VIRUS UPDATE - FIRE SAFETY SERVICES AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE IN ONTARIO

(Posting Date: 24/03/20)





March 24, 2020
 
 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE NO. 3
 
 
The Corona Virus (COVID-19) continues to spread across Canada, and across North America. As of this morning, there are 1646 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada and 24 deaths. The spread of the virus is accelerating as predicted and will continue to accelerate.
Social distancing has become a common phrase and is encouraged more and more each day. As the situation continues to develop,we are seeing addition restrictions imposed and the need to practice social distancing is even more important. People are encouraged to stay home whenever possible. If you are working in close contact with people, please take necessary safety precautions for your safety and the safety of others.

As of today, fire safety services are considered an essential workplace in Ontario, see Item 13 on the list:

 

Institutional, Residential, Commercial and Industrial Maintenance

  1. Businesses that provide support and maintenance services, including urgent repair, to maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of institutional, commercial industrial and residential properties and buildings, including, property management services, plumbers, electricians, custodial/janitorial workers, cleaning services, , security services, fire safety and sprinkler systems, building systems maintenance and repair technicians and engineers, mechanics, (e.g. HVAC, escalator and elevator technicians), and other service providers who provide similar services.
Here is the complete list:
https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/03/list-of-essential-workplaces-2.html

 
Take extra precautions as necessary to avoid contracting and/or spreading the virus such as maintaining a minimum 2 meters/6 ft. of distance to others, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks and eye protection as needed. Fire alarm technicians should consult with their employer, building owners/operators and/or AHJs on safe practices when conducting testing and inspections.
Building owners and fire alarm inspection companies should confirm with the local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), municipalities and fire services when conducting fire alarm testing and inspections, especially in-suite residences, retirement homes, hospitals, etc. The guidance and requirements will differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
 
 
The following most recent information is from the Canadian Public Health website:
 

Risk to Canadians

There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians:
 

  • aged 65 and over
  • with compromised immune systems
  • with underlying medical conditions
 
There are also increased health risks for Canadian travellers abroad. Because of these risks, the Government of Canada advises you to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. This includes cruise ships.
It is important for all travellers to:
 

  • self-isolate for 14 days after returning from travel outside of Canada
some provinces and territories may have specific recommendations for certain groups such as health care workers
  • monitor your health for symptoms such as for fever, cough or difficulty breathing
  • wash your hands often for 20 seconds and cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand
 
Do you think you might have COVID-19? Use our self-assessment tool to find out what to do.

 

Not Feeling Well?

If you find yourself not feeling well, please consider your symptoms and if they are similar to the symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), or if you have been exposed to someone infected, you should immediately consult with health professionals and consider self-isolation (for 14 days). If you or your health profession suspect you may be infected there are tests available to confirm. Your health professional will have additional recommendations.
Telehealth Ontario can be reached at 1-866-797-0000. A new online self-assessment tool has also been setup and can be found at https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus.
 

General Recommendations and Additional Information

As the spread of the virus and current conditions are changing rapidly, there are many new recommendations and suggestions coming from government bodies and health professionals. Some of the most important to consider are:
  • Avoid all public gatherings and avoid social gatherings
  • Limit travel through airports, transit terminals and avoid high risk destinations
  • Canadian officials have issued a warning not to embark on cruise ships
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid contact with people who are not well
  • Clean and sanitize fixtures and surfaces in your home frequently
  • Avoid shaking hands, hugging and any other body contact
  • Don’t share phones, tablets, pens, pencils, etc.
  • Those with existing health conditions are at higher risk of infection
  • Stock up on essential grocery and home essentials but do not hoard supplies
  • Stay home if you can

 
  • If you must travel check your travel insurance coverage as you may not be covered and borders are closing
 
The situation continues to change rapidly as the spread continues. Monitor the news and observe recommendations from your employer, health professionals and government officials.

For additional information:

Government of Canada website - www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel- coronavirus-infection.html
 
World Health Organization - www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
 
If we all work together and do our part to reduce transmission, hopefully the pandemic can come to an end sooner than later.\
Best regards,
 
Suzanne Alfano
 
Executive Director
Canadian Fire Alarm Association