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Holiday Shutdown: Your Fire & Security Checklist

In this article we review what fire and security inspections might be considered during holiday periods and provide a checklist of key areas to assess including:

  1. Overview
  2. Legal obligations for commercial fire alarm maintenance
  3. Security System checklist
  4. Sector checklist
  5. What to do if you identity a problem


The holidays are fast approaching and this may mean there will be many close-down periods or lower occupancy levels.

Consequently, any holiday period can be a great time to carry out supplementary inspections of fire and security systems to ensure they are operating effectively.  It can also be an ideal time to plan system upgrades and new installations as it may be easier and quicker for the fire and security install company to do their work.

Please bear in mind that there are legal compliance requirements that govern the frequency of when a commercial fire alarm system should be maintained and checked. So whilst this article highlights that holidays periods can be a great time for supplementary inspections, you will need to ensure compliance at all times. The maintenance of other systems such as intruder alarm, CCTV and access control systems are not subject to legislation, but may be a requirement of insurance cover.

Legal Obligations – Fire Commercial Alarms

The immediate consequence of poor commercial fire alarm maintenance is that people, property and processes will be placed at greater risk of damage should a fire breakout.  The rules regarding the legal requirements for fire alarm maintenance are complex. In 2006 the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order (2005) came into force, requiring all businesses with five employees or more, to carry out a full fire risk assessment. To understand your full obligations please read our separate articles explaining the legal requirements for fire alarm maintenance and the checklist we have created to help those responsible for workplace fire safety.

Security System Checklist for Holidays

If your building has either a fire, intruder alarm, access control, or CCTV system – periods, when the building is empty or has fewer people in it, means that as the facilities manager or responsible individual you may have more time available which could be used proactively to:

  • Double check security logs and all documentation to ensure all systems have been routinely maintained and any reported faults have already been fixed or are scheduled for repair.
  • Conduct further visual inspections of equipment to ensure all components are operating without faults, not damaged and operation is not impaired by grime, leaves, or other obstructions.
  • Re-read current policies and procedures to ensure they accurately reflect your current operating procedures – particularly now that many companies may have changed building layouts to accommodate hybrid working.
  • Do a walking tour to ensure signage is still in place and clearly visible
  • Review your surrounding areas and consider if any changes made by adjacent businesses or other neighbours and building/road works nearby might affect YOUR fire safety and building security.
  • Check the date you last carried out a full fire risk assessment and building security audit to protect your building from unauthorised access to consider if new assessment should be arranged.

Additional Reading: You may find our articles on creating a security system checklist, our free checklist download and our fire safety checklist may be useful.

Sector Checklist

Much of the advice above can be applied across all sectors, however, how and when they can be completed may also be subject to how your business or organisation operates. Please search our blog post library for fire and security tips related to your sector.

What to do if you identify a problem

If during your checks you identify a problem, as a Director it is your legal obligation to safeguard the safety and security of your employees. If the problem presents a fire risk you must ensure it is logged and rectified. If you are a facilities manager or responsible individual it is your responsibility to report fire risks to management and ensure this is logged. Failure to take the required action could mean individuals are held accountable and may face a hefty fine or maybe even a prison sentence.

The need to report and rectify faults with other systems such as intruder, CCTV or access control are not governed by legislation but may be a requirement of ongoing insurance cover so it is always wise to ensure all fire and security system faults are identified quickly, reported and repaired as soon as possible.


The above is only a brief overview of the recommended fire and security system checks that will help to protect your people, processes and property.  If you would like further advice on the workplace requirements for fire safety and security please get in touch.

Colin Milligan

Colin joined Tecserv UK Ltd in 2010. He has been in the fire and security industry for 30 years + and in that time has held a number of senior positions. His experience helps to bring focus and growth to our sales and marketing strategy by being objective driven and KPI measured.

Posted on: 23 February 2022
Last updated: 16 May 2022
Author: Colin Milligan