No matter what industry you’re in, re-opening your business and going back to work in the COVID-19 era has a lot of moving parts. With many different variables to consider, all areas of your business may be opening, or you might be using staggered re-entry. Whatever your process, your fire and security systems need to be evaluated to make sure that your buildings and people are safe.

If you want to get an expert evaluation of your needs, we’re available 24/7 to work with you, take an independent look at your systems, and troubleshoot whatever issues you need to deal with as you boot up your business. Like you, despite all the moving parts, we want to make sure your employees, clients and facilities work effectively and are safe-guarded.

Here’s a fire and security checklist to ensure your transition to re-opening your business is safe and successful for you, your staff, and your unique business needs:


  • Debrief with your staff about what lessons were learned during this time, where the vulnerabilities are, and what’s missing.
  • Are the person or people responsible for opening and/or closing still the same?
  • Have your staff’s hours changed? Have you hours of operation changed?
  • Have staff taken on different roles or multiple roles based on your current and changing situation?
  • Does your current staff know how to access your fire and security systems and how to operate them
  • Because of staggered work, do you have to train people on your systems?

Access Control

  • If there are staggered hours, are the access hours still relevant to the hours that your business is open?
  • Have you changed your card access for staff working different hours, days or shifts? Staff who work remotely may not need access.
  • Are there different or new people who need access (or don’t)? I recommend deleting those who don’t need access.
  • Is access control updated to reflect access or no access for customers and vendors?

Security Cameras

  • Are inside and outside security cameras still operating? Check them and the recording mechanisms to make sure they are recording.
  • Do the cameras cover the areas that need to be covered based on your current status, hours, people, etc.? You may need to reposition cameras or add a few if there is an altered traffic pattern.
  • Now is a good time to add software that allows you to remotely access your cameras.


  • Look at inspection tags. You’ve been away a while so there are inspections that couldn’t be done during stay-at-home restrictions.

Safety Plan

  • Is the plan you have still current?
  • Who is responsible for activating a safety plan in an emergency?
  • Are the people who are assigned key roles still the people who need to be assigned?
  • Is your current staff cross-trained on fire and safety processes to respond effectively during an emergency?

Physical Distancing Guidelines

Finally, I strongly advise you to develop an COVID evaluation plan that includes physical distancing, healthcare protocol and workplace operations. Revisit your plan in about six months because as you and your employees get familiar with the new routine, they may have valid concerns and valuable suggestions for improvements.

About Brothers Fire & Security

As one of the premier providers of fire and security solutions in the Upper Midwest, Brothers Fire & Security strives to build long-term, value-added relationships. We work with business owners and property management companies, as well as all types of public institutions to solve fire and security needs. By taking advantage of our integrated bundled services, many of our clients find that they can save 25-30% on their safety services, annual inspections and more. From a single location to franchises throughout the region and the country, our integrated approach saves our clients valuable time, money and stress. We provide fire protection systems, security systems, fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, 24-7 monitoring, fire extinguishers, card access and kitchen hoods. And coming soon, our new Online Academy: Life Safety — Made Simple with eLearning courses designed to help you get and keep your staff trained and your business fire and security code compliant.