The government has been advising on measures to unlock the lockdown, providing a welcome boost to the economy.
Already shops are opening with pubs and cinemas to follow, ushering a new kind of normal to our everyday lives.
But the new normal is also about other places of work because offices, factories and warehouses also need to reopen.
The main focus for business owners is properly on the safety of employees and visitors. That focus will be about social distancing and enforcing hygiene standards.
But, from our perspective, employee safety should also encompass fire safety.
The new reality is that many businesses will have had to reconfigure their premises to meet social distancing and other guidelines.
That means changing the layout of offices to accommodate fewer employees. That, for example, could mean bringing other spaces into use.
Many companies are, we know, repurposing storage areas or office canteens as new office space.
While that may be a prudent in meeting a changed business reality, it will inevitably have a knock-on effect on fire safety.
Amid all the competing demands on business at the moment, fire safety is perhaps not a top priority for business owners.
It is, however, a priority because fire safety is a regulatory requirement. It’s also worth remembering that 60% of small businesses that suffer a fire do not reopen.
It therefore makes good business, as well as regulatory, sense to look again at your company’s fire risk assessment.
It may be, for example, that the numbers of employees on your premises at any one time will have changed.
Does that therefore mean a shortfall in trained people to organise a response to a fire? Are there enough trained people to ensure an orderly evacuation?
The issue of evacuation, with smaller numbers of staff on-site, could be critical if there are elderly or disabled people in the building.
But it’s also important to ask wider questions. For example, have there been changes in working practices?
Have you increased stock levels, particularly flammable stock? Where is that stock now stored?
If your office has been reconfigured, does that affect fire-fighter entry?
It’s also worth considering testing fire alarms and conducting fire tests. With business premises having been closed for so long, reminding staff about fire safety is important.
That’s particularly so if staff are working staggered shifts, with your business perhaps not having fire-safety trained staff on-site at all times.
Depending on your business, there may be other fire-critical issues to consider.
Most importantly, if your office or business space has been reconfigured, what additional fire protection is required?
It may be, for example, that areas of your premises now require additional compartmentation. This both traps the fire in a discrete area and provides safe escape routes for staff.
That’s what Wrightstyle systems do – providing high levels of fire safety, and helping to make sure that your business doesn’t become one of the 60% of firms that close after a fire.
One thing is certain: the new normal is going to look nothing like the old normal.
In planning for it, do also plan for fire safety.