Statutory Compliance and Managing Premises During Current National Lockdown

This article has been brought to you by Slough Borough Council's Associate Director and Education & Inclusion, Johnny Kyriacou on behalf of Slough Borough Council's Senior H&S Adviser Vicki Swift. This is for the attention of all schools.

It is important that, during the ‘ Stay at home’ national lockdown and prior to re-opening, all the usual building checks are undertaken to keep the school safe.


If buildings have been closed or had reduced occupancy during this period, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease. If water systems are managed correctly, then the risk can be suitably mitigated. Advice on this can be found in the guidance on legionella risks during the coronavirus outbreak.

Cold Water Systems

This includes tanks, sinks/basins/showers and drinking water outlets (taps and water fountains.)

Ensure the following:

  • Do not drain down systems.
  • Increase the frequency of outlet flushing and temperature monitoring to maintain water quality within the entire system.
  • If required, consider additional water quality testing at water outlets (closest and further from the main water source and those with little use) and drinking water outlets that remain in use.
  • Ensure records are kept.

Domestic Hot Water Services

This includes calorifiers/direct fired water heaters/sinks/ basins/ showers.

Ensure the following:

  • Do not drain down systems or switch off hot water heaters, you should continue hot water generation servicing in line with manufacturers’ criteria and normal operation.
  • Water temperatures must be kept within limits recommended for the control of legionella bacteria in water systems. For reference, use the Approved Code of Practice and HSG 274.
  • Regularly check hot water generation for functionality.
  • Ensure records are kept.

If the hot water system has been left operational the hot water should be circulating as normal and regular checks, in line with guidance, should be carried out.

Re-opening After a Lengthy Closure

Before resuming normal operation, commission a water treatment specialist to chlorinate and flush the complete system for all hot and cold water systems (including drinking water) and certify the water system is safe before the buildings are reoccupied. Allow sufficient time for this activity, approximately 1 week before opening if possible.

Recommission all systems before re-opening, as would normally be done after a long period. This includes gas, heating, water supply, mechanical and electrical systems, and catering equipment.

Check your fire safety systems including making sure:

  • All fire doors are operational
  • Your fire alarm system and emergency lights are operational

Clean and disinfect all areas and surfaces prior to reopening and if necessary, utilise pest control for insect infestations, particularly in the kitchen and/or food preparation areas. Deep clean the kitchen prior to reopening before food preparation resumes.

Additional advice on safely reoccupying buildings can be found in the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers’ guidance on emerging from lockdown. See also Keeping occupied spaces well ventilated in the System of Controls section.

Assuming that you are allowing contractor’s access and carrying out normal on site safety checks, then you should be compliant, however, if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the health and safety team.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the H&S Team on the numbers below.  They are more than happy to support you in any way they can.

Health & Safety Contacts

Bhavini Ranu:

Vicki Swift:

Gina Watson:

Shameem Din:

H&S inbox:             

Tel: 01753 875742/01753 875046