24 Aug How Covid-19 is Affecting the Fire Safety Industry
Since Covid-19 has hit the world, it has affected every sector including finance, business, marketing, etc. When we discuss its effects on the world, we cannot ignore how Covid-19 is affecting the fire safety industry in the UK. Just like all other industries the fire safety industry is also facing an unprecedented time. Due to the lockdown situation, almost all sectors of the fire safety industry have faced financial downfall and operational changes.
FIRE SAFETY INDUSTRY SECTORS AFFECTED BY COVID-19
To control the spread of the virus, many areas in the UK have declared a lockdown situation. This lockdown has proved fruitful for the avoidance of coronavirus spread but it has put many other industries in a difficult situation. If we list down the subcategories of the fire safety industry, we will realise how Covid-19 is affecting the fire safety industry.
- Manufacturer of fire rescue equipment
- Manufacturers and maintainers of fire detection and alarm equipment
- Manufacturers and maintainers of fire extinguishers
All these sectors have faced impacts due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Businesses in the fire safety industry are affected to varying degrees. Around 50% of the businesses report facing their financial performance significantly below the expected forecast.
They have faced severe financial effects that are expected to be recovered in a quarter of the year. Some sectors of this industry report low impacts and some report moderate impacts. These impacts are expected to be short term. Fire safety industry businesses are hopeful to recover from these short term impacts within a few months after the lockdown situation is over.
Operational Changes in Fire Safety Industry Due to Covid-19
As Covid-19 brought with it terms like shut down, lockdown, and social distancing, industries throughout the world have to bring out changes in their operational systems to face this challenging situation.
Similarly, the fire industry in the UK has undergone various operational changes to cover up the loss they may face because of the critical situation due to the lockdown. It is important to discuss these changes in their operational strategies if you want to understand how Covid-19 is affecting the fire safety industry.
This pandemic has brought the world to a ‘new normal’. Just like all other organisations, the fire safety industry has started working in a new way. Remote working has been practiced by this industry throughout the lockdown to subside the severe impacts. This transition to virtual meetings has benefitted the fire safety industry in terms of time saving, and money saving.
Shifting to this transition was not as simple as it sounds. It needed training the employees to meet the demands of flexible working or remote working.
Changes in the Services of Fire Safety Industry in the UK
The organizations of fire safety industry that work on site for the maintenance, installation, or other on site services faced more difficulties than other departments. Around 75% of the fire safety industry sub departments need their employees to be on site to carry out their duties efficiently. But due to the lockdown situation, the employees were unable to be present on the site.
The Fire safety industry reports cancellations or delays in their booked site visits due to Covid-19 lockdown. But when the fire safety workers were classified under the category of keyworkers, these cancellations were avoided and helped them keep working in a critical situation.
Problems Faced in Accessing the Customers
The restrictions that organizations faced after the emergence of this pandemic include the problems in reaching the customers. But as the lockdown proceeded these organizations learned other flexible ways to deal with such problems. Hence, financial impacts faced due to the lack of customers’ visits subsided and reduced significantly.
Many sectors of the fire safety industry planned to deal with backlogs due to lockdown by increasing their working hours or working on weekends when required after the restrictions have been lifted.
EMPLOYEES AND EMPLOYMENT RELATED ISSUES
Covid-19 has affected the hiring, retention, and management of staff in the fire safety industry. The UK announced the Corona Virus Job Retention Scheme which helped this industry in survival through this pandemic.
Different organizations of the fire safety industry placed 25% to 75% of their staff on furlough. The UK fire safety departments that were hit high due to lockdown preferred using the furlough scheme. But they planned to bring their employees back that shows the resilience of the fire safety industry.
FIA Covid-19 Survey and Report
FIA is the largest fire safety association in the UK. The company conducted surveys to analyze the impact of Covid-19 on their business. The reports give a clear idea of how Covid-19 is affecting the fire safety industry. According to the findings around 50% of businesses in the sector have faced a downfall in their growth. The most important concern of the FIA was that how long a fire safety business can work under such circumstances. The responses vary between 3 months to a year. The details of FIA survey and report can be studied here.
How to Manage the After Effects of Covid-19 Impact
This natural disaster has taught the world the best way of utilizing technology. All the industries and businesses have started modifying their operational methods. They are now working online.
The fire safety industry is doing the same by starting their virtual offices. Many organizations are trying to cover the backlog by working extra hours. The industry has restructured its services and policies to facilitate its employees and customers.
The emergence of a pandemic like Covid-19 was completely unprecedented. The world was not prepared for facing such a harsh situation. Therefore, intense impacts were confronted throughout the globe.
Companies collapsed, businesses faced downfalls, markets suffered losses, and economies crashed down. Those who managed to diversify their businesses faced less impact.
It is difficult to draw exact conclusions while finding out the answer to the question how COVID-19 is affecting the fire safety industry because many organisations have managed to make up for their losses by shifting to the virtual mode of services. Some had found out ways to reach to the expected growth by increasing their workload and decreasing their expenses. The industrialists are hopeful that the loss will be covered soon after things get back to normal.