Onus on businesses to confirm fire alarm calls are valid
A recent decision by Avon Fire and Rescue Service to no longer automatically respond to fire alarms at business premises brings the importance of fire alarm testing to the forefront.
Due to the high level of false alarms diverting fire crews from genuine emergencies the change will come into force on 1st April this year. Following this date, a response will not automatically be mobilised, instead fire crews will only attend when a call is made to 999 or a keyholder confirms there is a fire.
Homes, HMOs (house in multiple occupation), hotels sheltered housing and student accommodation will still receive and automatic response to alarms as will hospitals and heritage premises.
The fire alarm is an important safety device within any business and can prevent damage, death and emotional trauma. However, it is vital that they are installed correctly and are appropriate for the specific setting that they are in.
A number of things can cause a ‘false’ fire alarm, including activation of a smoke detector by airborne pollutants such as toast burning in a toaster, or workmen visiting the building and carrying out work close to heat or smoke detectors.
Human error can also be an issue, and this is generally due to lack of familiarity with the system and how it is operated.
Sadly, there are times when malicious intent and vandalism are the cause, these false alarms can often be the most difficult to identify. Finally, faulty or poorly maintained fire detection equipment can be responsible.
Fire Alarm Engineers
Issues with your fire alarms not working as they should can cause unnecessary interruptions to the working day and to your business’s day to day activities. A visit from one of our qualified engineers will ensure that your fire alarm system is in good working order and ready for use. We can also give your staff training to carry out the necessary weekly tests and to minimise false alarms.
Fire Alarms should be maintained every twelve months and an interim service carried out every six months. A well-maintained fire alarm system can provide the time to facilitate the safe and effective evacuation of people from a building.
We use a computerised maintenance management system to ensure that service and maintenance visits are carried out on time. This system helps our clients ensure that all work is fully documented and carried out on time. If a fire should occur at your property all fire safety documentation will be inspected by the fire authorities to ensure that everything was in order before the incident.
For advice and information on fire alarms throughout the UK please get in touch. We are happy to have a no obligation chat.