Fire causes a lot of damage to businesses every year and can in fact cause a business to go bankrupt. Of course, the financial damage is only part of the story, as in some fires lives can get lost. To protect a business from this type of harm, fire alarms have been invented and their role is to alert employees to a fire so it can be dealt with before it spreads or at least give a business enough notice so that management can fulfill their duty of care and get all the people in the building to safety.
The Importance Of Regular Testing
Some businesses only install the alarm without making sure that it is maintained and tested but the electronics can be damaged, degraded or compromised, which is why it is so important to maintain the system and check it on a regular basis. No business should wonder whether or not they have neglected their fire alarm system as they should have regular maintenance and tests as part of their fire safety plan to tell them they have not.
The regular testing serves both as peace of mind and provides records of good working practices that will allow the authorities to let business continue.
There are many contaminants that could damage parts of these systems: dust and dirt can cause problems with detectors, people can vandalise parts of the system, water can damage the electrics or rodents often chew wires. Regular visual and electrical tests will ensure that such possibilities will never occur or never get out of hand.
Objections To Regular Fire Alarm Testing
The most obvious objections are money and logistics.
- False alarms and emergency repairs can cost a lot of money that probably has not be budgeted for. Even though the cost for maintenance may seem unnecessary at first it can help you control expenditure that could otherwise get out of control if it remains underneath your radar.
- If your alarm system or fire safety systems are found to be inadequate you could face fines, prison or notices preventing you from carrying out certain business activities until they are rectified, all of which are more exponentially more expensive than a quarterly maintenance invoice.
- If your fire safety systems fails and someone gets hurt you will likely face vast legal costs. Even if no one gets hurt but the fire is not detected early you could lose everything to the fire itself.
- It need not take you much time to co-ordinate. The maintenance can be left to a professional company such as ourselves with engineers trained in all aspects of fire safety law and best practice who will supply you with the relevant paperwork so that all you need to do is file it.
Another important point to mention is that in case of a fire, however small, your insurance provider might not cover the damage if you cannot show proof that you have sufficiently tested and maintained the systems. This is also important if you want to limit your liability when it comes to your employees.
How Old Is Your Fire Detection System?
As a guide to help manage your expectations:
- If your fire alarm system is not more than 5 years old, the system will most likely require very little maintenance so just regular testing. If there is any problem, it is mostly caused by improper installation. It might therefore be a good idea to let your system be tested by a second company to ensure proper performance in case you are not completely sure the work was done properly in the first place.
- If your system is anywhere between five and ten years old, it can suffer from the breakdown of components, which can be caused by normal environmental factors. At this point, it is even more important to do fire alarm testing, as a specialist can detect many problems that might be overlooked otherwise.
- Systems that are between fifteen and twenty years old might well need to be replaced.
As a professional and reliable company that specialise in fire alarm systems, Fire & Electrical Safety LTD can help you with proper inspection, maintenance and servicing to help you keep your assets, your property and your employees safe. Our affordable services will allow you to keep your systems function to it’s full potential which will also save you money in the long run.