Category: Fire Safety

Navigating Your Commercial Fire Alarm System Upgrade A Quick Guide

Navigating Your Commercial Fire Alarm System Upgrade A Quick Guide

This concise guide aims to demystify the process of choosing, installing and maintaining a fire alarm system that’s perfectly suited for your business.

The Non-Negotiable Role of Commercial Fire Alarm Systems

Your fire alarm system serves two pivotal roles: ensuring the swift evacuation of your premises to protect lives, mitigate property damage and facilitate swift firefighting efforts. Also, compliance with fire safety regulations is not just a legal formality but a moral obligation to safeguard all your people – staff, visitors and management.

Risk Assessments: Your Fire Safety Blueprint

A rigorous fire risk assessment lays the groundwork for any effective fire safety plan and commercial fire alarm design. This process not only identifies potential fire hazards within your property but also informs the strategic placement of fire detection devices. Regular updates to your fire risk assessment keep your fire safety measures effective.

Generally, fire risk assessments should be reviewed periodically. The exact frequency depends on factors including:

  1. Type of Premises: Different types of commercial properties may have different requirements for fire risk assessment frequency. For example, high-risk premises such as those with large numbers of occupants or complex layouts may require more frequent assessments.
  2. Changes in Use or Layout: If there are any significant changes in the use or layout of the premises, it may necessitate a review of the fire risk assessment to ensure it remains accurate and effective.
  3. Changes in Legislation or Regulations: Updates to fire safety legislation or regulations may also prompt a review of existing fire risk assessments to ensure compliance with the latest requirements.
  4. History of Incidents or Near-Misses: If there have been any fire incidents or near-misses on the premises, it may be advisable to review the fire risk assessment to identify any weaknesses or areas for improvement.
  5. Recommendations from Authorities or Insurers: Recommendations from fire authorities or insurers may also influence the frequency of fire risk assessments.

Tailoring Your Fire Alarm System

A one-size-fits-all approach falls short, you cannot pull your fire safety out of a box! A commercial fire alarm system must be custom-fitted to your property’s specific layout and risk profile.

This necessitates a thorough site survey and assessment by accredited professionals. Certifications such as BAFE approval and/or NSI Gold Scheme status are hallmarks of quality and reliability. Look for these approvals in your service provider. It indicates a commitment to excellence in fire protection.

High-Tech Heroics: The Cutting-Edge of Fire Detection Innovation

Today’s commercial fire alarm systems leverage a variety of detection technologies to provide comprehensive protection. Heat detectors are indispensable in environments where smoke and dust could lead to false alarms. Ionisation and photoelectric detectors, on the other hand, are adept at catching fires in their early stages, whether they’re fast-flaming or smouldering. While multi-sensor detectors simultaneously monitor for smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide!

Maintaining Reliability with Regular Upkeep

The efficacy of a fire alarm system hinges on its operational reliability. Routine maintenance and testing, augmented by 24/7 monitoring (see below) not only minimises the risk of false alarms but ensures that the Fire & Rescue services are dispatched only when absolutely necessary.

As recommended in BS 5839, your fire alarm system should undergo weekly testing to verify its operational status and detect any potential major failures. Pro tip: vary the call point used for the test.

In addition, your system needs to be inspected by a competent person at least every six months. Call us, we can help you with this.

Round-the-Clock Fire Alarm Monitoring

In an era where businesses operate round the clock, the need for continuous fire alarm monitoring has never been more critical. This ensures that any fire alarm triggers are swiftly verified, thereby reducing the likelihood of unnecessary Fire Service deployments.

Integration: Better Fire Safety and Comprehensive Protection

A holistic fire safety strategy extends beyond the fire alarm system itself. From fire extinguishers, emergency lighting to the clear demarcation of evacuation routes with compliant signage. Advanced integration with other building systems, like HVAC and access control, further bolsters your fire protection framework, ensuring a coordinated response in the event of a fire.

Wrapping Up: Upgrading Your Commercial Fire Alarm Starts with a Click!

Navigating the complexities of commercial fire alarm systems can be daunting. But understanding the critical components of a reliable fire alarm system and overall fire safety plan is the first step. By partnering with a certified and experienced fire protection company, you can ensure that your commercial property is equipped with a tailored, technologically advanced, and regulation-compliant fire alarm system. Remember, proactive preparation and professional expertise are key.

If it’s time to upgrade your commercial CCTV or alarm system to work with your upgraded Fire Alarm System, contact us.

Call or use the contact form today. We are here to help. Your Responsible Person will thank you for it.

Will the Fire Service come to save YOUR business premises?

Will the Fire Service come to save YOUR business premises?

False alarms are a terrible waste of resources and finances. As a result, many Fire and Rescue Services are taking bold measures to rein in waste. This is a positive move on the face of it.

But it does pose a difficult question for your Responsible Person. Especially if s/he is working from home because of the lockdown…
read more…

Christmas Fire Risk

Christmas Fire Risk

Not to be a Grinch or anything but make sure your Christmas tree doesn’t ruin your festive season.

Great advice is to cut off the bottom couple of inches of your tree’s trunk and soak it in a bucket of water before you put it into its stand.

This will help to keep it moist and less likely to burn if the worst should happen. read more…

Why Cutting Costs On Your Fire Extinguisher Service Could Cost You Your Business

Why Cutting Costs On Your Fire Extinguisher Service Could Cost You Your Business

I was chatting with a friend recently about fire extinguisher servicing for businesses. Dave had just changed to a cheaper supplier and saved himself a few pounds every month. He’d been quite chirpy about this cost cutting move.

But then he told me how he got a bit of a wake up call.

The guy who had previously serviced Dave’s extinguishers was still servicing his fire alarm. During that visit, the guy knocked on Dave’s door to talk about the extinguisher in the corridor outside his office. read more…

Christmas Fire Risk

Fire Safety Advice For Students and Landlords Following Student Accommodation Fire In Bolton

Following a serious fire last month at a student accommodation block in Bolton, Lancashire, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is issuing guidance and support for student residents and building owners.

Student accommodation and housing providers have a responsibility to comply with fire safety legislation and give advice to their tenants on the fire safety arrangements and procedures for their particular building. read more…

Christmas Fire Risk

Business Fire Protection: What Is Third Party Certification or Accreditation?

Checking that your Fire Protection provider has Third Party Certification or Accreditation is the best way to ensure you are working with a competent, experienced expert.

And know that you can rely on them to protect your premises, your staff and your liability as the Responsible Person.

A certification or accreditation from a recognised third party organisation is independent verification that your provider is working to the appropriate standards and best practice for the service you require.

But what is third party certification?

read more…

Fire Door Safety Week – 23-29 September

Fire Door Safety Week – 23-29 September

I saw in the news recently that it is Fire Door Safety Week from 23 to 29 September 2019. It’s now in its seventh year! They are dedicated to raising awareness about fire doors, fire stopping and safety for the whole building industry and every property owner, including the business owners who rent those buildings.

It made me think of a conversation I had with a local business owner.

He said:

It wasn’t until I employed person #5 that I realised the importance of fire door safety.

Fire Doors in multi-occupied buildings

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Fire Chiefs’ Business Safety Week 2019

Fire Chiefs’ Business Safety Week 2019

The National Fire Chiefs’ Business Safety Week is a chance for Fire & Rescue services to help raise awareness of the support available for the Responsible Person at any business. It runs from 9-15 September 2019.

The main goals are

  • reducing false alarms – there were more than 303,000 in UK homes and businesses in 2017/18
  • preventing common causes of business fires
  • preventing arson – nearly 30% of fires in the UK’s non-resdidential properties are deliberate
  • protecting sleeping accommodation

read more…