A fire alarm can save lives, make sure you fit them correctly

Automatic fire alarm systems are an essential part of any large building. They protect both life and premises by giving an early warning of danger and allowing the fire brigade to be called before a fire gets out of control. But are you sure your fire alarm system is fitted properly? You should use a reputable fitter who is fully aware of current safety regulations. If you are in any doubt about the suitability of your system, contact your local fire service and ask them to come and check it out for you. Here are a few pointers you might like to consider when setting up a fire alarm system for the first time.

Back to Basics

The choice of fire alarm system is really dependent on the size and structure of your building, the use that building is put to, and the current law regarding the type of alarm that building should have. Fitting a large and complex fire alarm system is best left to trained professionals. Smaller business owners should have a working knowledge of how their system works. Many opt for a Conventional Fire Alarm ‘Starter Kit’, which is a simple, but fully comprehensive system for smaller premises. These kits consist of fire alarm control panels, batteries, temperature and smoke detectors, electric sounders, fire resistant cable, manual call points and fire resistant cable clips.

There are alternatives to the simple Conventional Fire Alarm system. You can opt for ‘Addressable’ Fire Alarm system, which will tell you precisely whereabouts in the building a fire has been detected. The system is wired on a loop, and can detect which alarm has been tripped, and indicate from the control panel whereabouts you should focus your attention. Wireless Fire Alarm systems are a popular alternative to wired systems. They allow licence-free communication between the detectors and the control panel using radio signals. All systems are highly effective, as long as they are properly maintained and checked on a weekly basis.

Consequences of False Alarms

It is your responsibility to ensure that the fire risk assessment for your building is up to date. Failure to ensure your systems are working correctly can result in false alarms. These have a severe impact. The cost to the fire service being called out unnecessarily is extremely high. The lives of firemen and the public are put at unnecessary risk by fire engines travelling at speed to a fire. Your fire safety programme as a company should include the designation of specific individuals within the organisation whose job it is to test the alarm, and to check that there is a fire should the alarm go off. One unfortunate consequence of false alarms is that they cause staff to become relaxed when hearing the fire alert.

Fire alarm systems can seem complex at first glance, but in principle they are very simple to fit, and maintain. Ask your supplier for advice, as they will usually have an in depth knowledge of the products they are selling. Fire safety can never be left to chance, so take time to focus on this vital part of your business.

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