The South Portland Fire Department is reminding businesses reopening this week not to block off or lock any additional exits in their efforts to control the flow of customers under the state’s coronavirus restrictions.

The fire department said Wednesday in a news release that businesses still must maintain the legally required number of accessible exits for fire safety purposes.

“It is important for businesses to remember that they must follow all existing fire codes, while accounting for social distancing,” the department said. “While attempting to control movement, or restricting the number of entrance points, all means of egress must remain unlocked and accessible during business hours.”

Fire department spokesman Capt. Robb Couture said it issued the reminder purely as a proactive measure, and that the fire department has not received any reports of businesses violating fire safety codes by blocking exits.

It also encouraged businesses to check all emergency and exit lighting. It said anyone with concerns or questions about whether businesses in the city are meeting fire safety requirements can contact Deputy Chief Michael Williams at 207-799-3311, ext. 7330, or Lt. John Sheetz at 207-799-3311, ext. 7320.


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