Fire Alarm Systems For Commercial Buildings
Do You Need Fire Alarm Systems For Commercial Buildings? Get In Touch!
Having fire alarm systems installed in your commercial buildings is essential. For example, if a fire were to break out, how else could you be alerted quickly enough to protect your staff, customers, and stock?
Plus, fires can have serious consequences for companies if essential steps are not taken to raise the alarm. In fact, according to statistics released by London Fire Brigade, as many as 60% of businesses never recover following a fire.
Installing an effective fire alarm system is essential for ensuring the safety of your staff, customers, and property, and will mean that life-saving action can be taken quickly and effectively, before the situation has the opportunity to escalate.
Contact our expert team today for a free consultation with no obligations. We look forward to discussing a fire safety solution that is perfect for you and your needs!
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The Responsibilities Of Employers And Businesses
Failing to prepare for the event of a fire can have serious legal consequences for businesses under The Fire Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 - among other compliance legislation - and may result in hefty fines and even prison sentences for responsible parties.
These responsible parties include:
Anyone else with control over the premises, such as the facilities manager, building manager, managing agent, or risk assessor
These parties are responsible for arranging and carrying out fire risk assessments and fire safety reviews, informing staff of any identified risks, enforcing, and maintaining fire safety measures, emergency planning, and providing information to all staff.
Under UK law, all businesses must install a fire alarm system that can be heard from all areas and by all hearing occupants of the building. Alarm systems must be suitable for the building structure and layout, and should be tested regularly to ensure that they work promptly and efficiently.
Fire alarms should be regularly tested at a minimum of every six months under BS 5839-1 (The British Standard For Fire Detection And Fire Alarm Systems For Buildings In Non-Domestic Premises), and should be accompanied by a fire drill and fire safety review at least once per year.
Staff with a hearing impairment should also be provided with their own plan to enable them to evacuate the building quickly and safely.
The Fire Safety Regulators
Fire safety legislation is enforced by several bodies across the UK. In the majority of cases, local fire and rescue authorities are responsible for enforcing fire safety legislation.
However, some independent regulators may step in where necessary, including The Defence Fire Safety Regulator (DFSR) and the Health And Safety Executive (HSE).
KCS Projects is a trusted provider of fire alarm systems to businesses, and commercial and council-owned buildings across the UK, and we provide our services to established institutions including schools, universities, and hospitals.
Bringing over twenty years of experience in the Security and Fire industries, we are experienced in delivering fire safety advice to a wide range of businesses and sectors, and in designing personalised evacuation plans to keep you and your staff safe.
Choosing The Correct Fire Alarm System For Commercial Buildings
When choosing the appropriate fire alarm system for your commercial building, it is essential to carefully consider the layout of your site and its constituent structures, as well as take into account your day-to-day operations and the movement of your staff.
Prior to choosing your alarm, you must undertake a full fire risk assessment, carefully considering:
How long it takes to fully evacuate the site and the most efficient way of evacuating occupants
Whether you have staff or residents who are physically disabled, have a visual or auditory impairment, or have cognitive or processing issues which may interfere with their ability to respond to an alarm
The type of operations that occur on-site, including any high-risk activities
How to integrate your fire alarm system with other security measures, such as intruder alarms and CCTV
Consulting an expert for advice regarding the specific requirements of your premises
There are two main types of fire alarm system which may be used in business premises. These are known as Addressable and Conventional systems.
Addressable Fire Alarm Systems
Addressable fire alarm systems use an identification code and location descriptor to identify which device was alerted. This information is then displayed on the LCD screen to allow the user to quickly and efficiently locate the fire.
Addressable fire alarm systems use a cause-and-effect mechanism, which is preprogrammed during commissioning according to the needs of the user.
As such, the alarm can be programmed to alert different areas of the building in stages, which is essential when staged evacuations are required. This allows time for people to move freely through corridors reducing the risk of overcrowding and trampling in an emergency.
This feature is also critical for conducting assisted evacuations for people who require extra support to evacuate the building, for example, in care homes or hospitals.
An addressable alarm also gives your business the opportunity to reduce disruption in unaffected areas of the site. An addressable system can be programmed to alert only the alarms in the affected area, which is useful for sites with multiple buildings or apartments.
Alternatively, the system can be programmed to set off all alarms on the site to evacuate all occupants. Addressable alarms are a flexible solution to a range of fire safety needs, and can be linked to additional features such as door lock deactivation, sprinklers and monitoring systems to promote the safe evacuation of occupants and a rapid response to a fire outbreak.
Addressable alarm systems are less prone to false alarms than conventional fire alarm systems, and most modern designs use digital technology to communicate complex information, such as the heat level or the amount of smoke. This allows addressable alarms to work intelligently and reduces the likelihood of a false alarm.
Conventional Fire Alarm Systems
In contrast to addressable fire alarm systems, a conventional alarm system uses an LED light on the fire alarm panel to alert the user to the overall zone of the fire, such as the floor.
This is not a precise descriptor, and the Responsible Person(s) would be required to locate the exact position of the fire in order to relay this information to the emergency services.
How To Pick The Best Fire Alarm System For Your Premises
There are two things you should bear in mind when choosing your commercial fire alarm system.
Conventional alarm systems are a cost-effective way to secure your premises against the risk of fire, and are most appropriate for small facilities with fewer occupants with minimal requirements.
Addressable alarms, on the other hand, are best suited to premises with a large number of occupants, those with additional evacuation requirements, and buildings which may require a more flexible alarm.
If you have any doubts regarding what kind of alarm system is best suited to your business, our team are experts in designing and fitting alarm systems for a wide variety of businesses. Simply call us on 01234 230690 and we will be happy to help!