BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office reminds the business community about the phased guidance documents available online to assist in creating a safe environment to operate during the coronavirus pandemic, a news release said.

OpenSafely.la.gov is a web-based program created to inform and update businesses and religious organizations about the COVID-19 mitigation guidelines developed under the direction of Gov. John Bel Edwards and in collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Health. To date, guidelines for operating in Phase 1, Phase 2 and the amended Phase 2 enacted on July 13, have been made available to the public via openSafely.la.gov

Business owners can either sign up at openSafely.la.gov, or visit the public link on openSafely.la.gov, to access the documents. Louisiana residents are encouraged to read the documents to be familiar with what to expect when visiting businesses, the release said.

“We know a lot of businesses initially utilized OpenSafely to establish their capacities for each phase the state has moved through, but there’s so much more to these guidelines that businesses not only need to know about, but need to incorporate in their everyday operations,” said State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning. “We’re appreciative of the 90% of businesses across Louisiana that have shown they’ve read the rules, know the rules and are implementing those rules in their places of business as best as possible. We’re simply aiming to improve that compliance rate with this reminder.”

Depending on the business type, OpenSafely guidance can include details about when and where seating is required, how close tables, seats and customers can be in various scenarios, best sanitation practices and how to manage crowd control. It is especially important for businesses that offer multiple service types to be aware of each guideline that applies to all of the different services they offer. It is also imperative that businesses being allowed by special permit to operate in a different fashion than they’re used to fully understand and implement all of the rules of that new function, the release said.