The Importance of Professional Fire Alarm System Installation and Maintenance
Fire alarms save lives: The number one reason to install a fire alarm is to make the building safe for your employees, customers, and tenants. A combination of smoke and heat detectors, sounders and visual indication provide automatic detection and alert building occupants of a fire, giving them ample time to evacuate in an orderly fashion.
Fire alarms reduce property loss: While sounders and visual indication don’t actively put out fires, they alert the people in the property who can contact the fire services. Monitoring fire alarm systems automatically ensure that should the system activate that notification is provided to the keyholder or emergency services. The faster these responses happen, the sooner the fire is extinguished and the less damage your building sustains.
Should we have a fire alarm: In the UK it is a legal requirement for a fire risk assessment to be carried out on almost all premises where people could be working. This came into force in 2005 under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order . Under these regulations, the “responsible person” is legally obliged to ensure that the fire risk assessment is carried out and to deal with any problems that were highlighted during that assessment (although the relevant phrase is “duty holder” under the Scotland regulations and “appropriate person” under the Northern Ireland regulations).
The definition of the “responsible person” is typically the person who has primary responsibility for a premises. This could include facilities managers, owners of premises and managers of buildings.
In multi-tenanted buildings, each tenant has to carry out a fire risk assessment of their premises, and coordinate it with the fire risk assessment that the landlord has carried out of their areas.
In blocks of flats, the fire risk assessment needs to cover the common areas (such as stairs and corridors) but not necessarily the individual flats.
The risk assessment should advise on the requirement of a fire alarm system and dictate the system category. System categories range from Manual only (M) to basic automatic systems (L4) to comprehensive coverage (L1) .
A.P.E Fire and Security can provide a verification of the current system within a building and confirm compliance. This will be carried out with the peace and mind that we are 3rd Party accredited to BAFE SP203-1 to complete all modules from design, installation , verification, commissioning and on going maintenance.
Value of Professional Fire Alarm Installation
Whether you are the owner of a large corporate establishment, responsible person or an owner of a residential property, it is crucial that your fire alarm systems are correctly installed and fully functioning. Government statistics have shown that the UK Fire and Rescue services attended 170,519 fires in the year ending September 2017, which was a 9% increase compared with the previous year. 44% of these incidents were primary fires, and there were 346 fire-related fatalities in England (including 71 from the Grenfell Tower disaster), which demonstrates a substantial 37% increase from the previous year.
Although a variety of factors can cause a fire to start, having an accredited professional fire alarm system installer install your system will assist with compliance and reduce the risk of loss of life and property. Not only will they ensure that the system is correctly fitted and installed, but they have the knowledge and expertise to be able to advise and design the specific type of system that will offer the highest level of protection in regard to the layout of your particular building – the system used in a school is likely to be different to that of a restaurant, for example.
Why do Fire Alarms Require Regular Maintenance?
After all a fire alarm is a Life Safety System. There is a duty of care for the responsible person of a building to demonstrate that the Life Safety systems operate satisfactorily in line with the British Standards. The minimum interval at which you should have your system maintained by an accredited professional fire system provider is 6 monthly. Additional visits maybe dictated by your Fire Risk Assessment depending on the property type and risks.
In addition to the professional fire alarm maintenance visits the client has daily and weekly requirements set out in BS5839 Part 1 2017. These include weekly fire alarm tests and daily system checks. Our maintained customers utilise our expertise and are provided guidance on their responsibilities.
Importance of Fire Alarm Accreditation
There are multiple fire alarm installation and maintenance companies throughout the country, but it’s crucial that you only use accredited, qualified and experienced alarm professionals. Part of compliance to this is demonstration of competency of your fire alarm maintainer. Using a BAFE SP203-1 accredited company ticks this box.
The Fire Industry Association (FIA)
Another prestigious fire alarm accreditation is the Fire Industry Association. It is the UK’s largest trade association for the fire protection industry, and only companies that have third party certification, such as BAFE SP203, SP101/ST104 or LP1014, or manufacturers that are BS EN ISO 9001 certificated, are eligible for membership.
Fire Alarm Systems by A.P.E Fire & Security
If you’re looking for a reputable and trusted team of experts to help equip your building with the most reliable fire alarm systems, please get in touch with us today. We have over 40 years of experience in the industry, and specialise in providing industry-leading fire alarm systems, maintained and installed to BS5839: Part 1 2017 standards .We are highly experienced at providing complete fire alarm solutions in properties ranging from SME, HMO , Commercial and industrial, listed properties , Castles and more.