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COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a type of coronavirus.

Coronavirus symptoms

Stay at home if you have either:

  • a high temperature - 37.8 or more – if you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly

How coronavirus is spread?

Because it's a new illness, it is not known exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person. Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.  It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.

General Precautions:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the toilet or bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • Avoid close personal contact with people e.g. hugs, kisses and shaking hands, etc.
  • Periodically sanitise items you are in frequent contact with e.g. phones, keyboards, vehicle controls, etc.
  • Avoid contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
  • Only travel on public transport if you need to
  • Work from home, if you can
  • Avoid large groups of people (5 or more)
  • Use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • Do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family

How to get help?

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.  USE the NHS online Service -

Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.

How long to stay at home?

  • if you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
  • if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms
  • If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
  • If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.


You or your client may implement an office lockdown preventing the servicing of fire alarms, systems and fire extinguishers.  With fire alarms and systems there is no prescribed leeway on the 6 monthly service visits recommended in BS5839-1 but with extinguishers BS5306-3 allows +- 1 month on the 12 monthly service visit.  In these exceptional circumstances we would recommend that you offer a temporary extension to +2 months on both fire alarms and extinguisher servicing and review the situation monthly with the client to provide servicing at the earliest opportunity.

Further Information:



Public Health England blog:

Government Info Service – live map of cases:


The UK-FA has made every effort to ensure accuracy of the information provided above based upon Government and NHS advice as at 18 March 2020, however it is not guaranteed and the author does not accept any responsibility for direct or indirect damages caused through its interpretation or use.