04 Aug The Importance of Fire Safety Equipment – From fire alarms to fire extinguishers
Having your premises kitted out with the necessary fire safety equipment is essential in helping to protect and safeguard both your site as well as the employees who work in and around it. While having these individual pieces of equipment fitted is a good start, taking care of the safety of your building is an ongoing task which you must not ignore.
The fact of the matter is, that lots of people tend to be put off by the cost of servicing and maintenance for fire safety equipment, it often comes down to a very simple point: if you don’t have them serviced, why bother having them in place at all? While the odds may feel slim that a fire extinguisher could malfunction, it may end up costing you tens of thousands of pounds – or worse still, someone’s life – if a fault does happen to occur just as you need it to deal with a fire. Take this into consideration, take a look at our blog post which discusses some of the most common fire safety equipment faults and their consequences to highlight the importance of fire safety equipment servicing and having fire safety equipment in your workplace.
Fire alarms are the obvious warning signal to alert whole buildings to the potential threat of a fire. By letting people know early on, it permits everyone to exit the building and go out safely to a designated meeting point and wait for the assistance of the fire services and further instruction. Fire alarms are a necessary and legal requirement for commercial premises however you tend to find that there is little emphasis placed on the upkeep of the system.
Many faults for alarm systems are prone to power failures, this will in turn require a system to be reset, the ground faults can also put the system out of action by knocking out the power to various circuits. Also consider a rare thing to happen, but if your premises sustain water damage this could knock out your system if the water manages to encroach on the circuits.
Why service it?
While lots of systems will have a control panel to tell you when there has been a fault, you might be unaware of a circuit which has been lost or the system may not spot the fault occurring. A professional and qualified company will be able to test the system fully to illuminate any hidden faults which may have happened, especially if you have a building filled with alarm points to look after.
Fire suppression systems:
Automatic fire suppression systems are the ideal way to tackle fires, sensing a fire in seconds of the heat rupturing a trace tube. These can be put in as direct or indirect systems and require no manual input or mains connection in place.
With not very much electronic equipment in place for the system and no human input needed, fire suppression systems are not as likely to develop faults. But, it could be the case that the suppressant just needs topping up or that a part has become damaged and requires repairs.
Why service it?
Not servicing your suppression systems makes having them in the first place pretty pointless, as you won’t know whether they are going to work or not. You need to have full confidence in your systems and this is something which needs full professional attention.
Fire doors are created especially as doors designed to help with containing fires when they occur, allowing people to make their escape and confine fire damage to as small an area as possible.
Whether a door has become jammed, the seal is missing or the hinges haven’t been fitted properly, there is a lot which can go wrong with a fire door and this is something you need to consider.
Why service them?
According to The Fire Door Inspection Scheme survey, 677 fire doors across 31 premises had some kind of fault, highlighting just how serious things are. Having your doors inspected might only take a few minutes, but you’ll then have the peace of mind that they’ll do their job properly should anything bad happen.
A sprinkler system will begin with individual points when they pick up on the heat of a fire, although not all at one time. This then releases water into that area in the hope that the water will not only tackle the blaze, but also dampen the surrounding area to stop it spreading.
There are a few things which may impact the performance of a sprinkler system, especially if it sits unused for years on end and pressure being of particular significance. Rust is one of the key frequent causes of faults for the components, along with the water in the system freezing and triggering pipe bursts.
Why service them?
Having a sprinkler system looked at will draw attention to any issues and any parts which may need replacing. With a system check you can be assured that it will kick in when it is needed most rather than letting you down.
When a fire takes place in a building, it may cut the power to the building, so in this scenario, the emergency lighting kicks in to light the way out of the building for anyone who may still be inside the building.
A battery powered piece of equipment, is one of the most common faults for emergency lighting not working – namely dead batteries. If not the batteries then the lamps themselves could be at risk, leaving people in the dark and in danger.
No one wants to be left stuck in a dark warehouse or corridor when the power goes out for a reason. Servicing emergency lighting allows people to find the exit in an emergency, something which could save lives and prevent injuries from occurring.
We are all aware of how fire extinguishers can help tackle a flame while it’s still in a controllable state, but lots of people are not aware of the different types of extinguishers for various types of fire, for example, flammable liquids, electrical fires, solids fires. These need to be used to tackle a small fire to stop it spreading.
Fire extinguishers are often sitting around for long periods before they are used, leaving them prone to rusting or weakening. As well as this, you may not realise when someone has tampered with an extinguisher, releasing the contents and rendering it useless when someone actually needs it.
Why service it?
Fire extinguishers need to be serviced by a BAFE approved company to ensure they have been inspected by a certified engineer. By servicing and maintaining all the different extinguishers you have on site you can make sure the safety of your staff, visitors and your premises.
As it stands, businesses are not under any serious scrutiny to uphold the standards which would see regular servicing and maintenance of all fire safety equipment, with many either forgetting or simply trying to save on the cost.
All it takes to save a life is for companies, especially those in charge – to carry out fire risk assessments and have servicing and maintenance checks on a frequent basis for all fire safety equipment.
AK Fire – We Supply Quality and Safe Fire Alarms and Fire Alarm Systems
AK Fire Ltd is a well-established business providing national coverage for several years. We specialist in the supply, installation, maintenance and commissioning of a huge variety of fire safety equipment throughout the UK. As one of the UK’s fastest growing Fire Protection companies we provide great prices and reliable service. To find out more about the range of services that we can offer to you and your business, please get in touch with us today, we’d be delighted to help.