Having an effective fire alarm system installed is a legal requirement for many business premises, and they have several benefits that go beyond simply alerting people to fire. For example, the type of system you choose can also dictate how quickly the fire is detected, identify where it began, and greatly increase the potential evacuation time.
Installing and maintaining an effective fire alarm system isn’t simply an obligation; it is a commitment to the safety and wellbeing of everyone on the premises, and to the protection of the building itself.
Fire alarms are an essential part of detecting a fire, raising the alarm, and helping to stop the spread. Below, we explore some of these benefits in greater detail.
1. Increasing Time for Evacuation
Fire alarms are designed to raise the alarm at the earliest possible sign of danger. To assist with this, smoke alarms should also be in place to provide support.
By alerting everyone to danger at the first possible opportunity, effective fire alarm systems increase the time available to evacuate the building - this is an essential part of preventing a hazardous situation from becoming life-threatening.
Alongside your fire alarm system, ensure that you also have well-maintained fire escape routes in place, and that you hold regular fire drills to prepare for emergencies.
2. Locating The Fire
Fire alarm systems can also assist with identifying the location of the fire, as they may be installed in such a way that the premises is covered by ‘zones’, meaning that a sounding alarm will show the general location of the fire.
This is especially important if you are located in a larger premises with multiple fire escape routes, and you need to quickly direct personnel to the nearest one. Knowing precisely where the fire can be found will also be crucial information for the fire response units who react to the alarm.
3. Activating Fire Doors
If your building uses fire doors, a fire alarm system can often be synced with their use. This means that fire doors in an area can be automatically closed if the fire alarm sounds.
This setup is especially popular in premises where evacuation may be very difficult — such as in a hospice or nursing home, for example.
By using a combination of smoke alarms, fire alarms, and compatible fire doors, you can help to ensure that everyone on the premises remains safe and secure in the event of an emergency.
4. Preventing Escalation
Fire alarm systems are not simply in place to alert us once the danger has already developed; they can also be an essential part of warning personnel, relevant authorities, and fire response units, that a dangerous situation may be emerging.
At the first sign of trouble, a smoke alarm will detect a potential fire before it has a chance to escalate, then if the situation does become more serious, an effective fire alarm will immediately alert everyone around.
5. Alerting The Authorities
As mentioned in the previous section, a key benefit of certain fire alarm systems is their link to the appropriate authorities. For example, a fire alarm that is active for a certain time may summon the fire or ambulance services.
This can save you and your team from having to dial 999 and go through the process of urgently requesting assistance while experiencing a tense and highly stressful situation.
For this reason, fire alarm systems that have a direct line to the emergency services – and the option to call off the alert in the event of a false alarm - remain very popular.
6. Achieving Compliance
In business use, fire alarms can be an important aspect of achieving industry compliance - especially with regards to safety protocols and legal requirements. They may even be an essential part of certain certifications or accreditation checks.
To be compliant, it is also essential to not just install an adequate fire alarm system, but to also ensure that it is regularly checked and maintained by a reputable and experienced company. If it suits you, regular servicing can be carried out according to a defined schedule.
7. Greater Peace Of Mind
A less tangible - but no less important - benefit of an effective fire alarm system is the peace of mind it provides; visitors, colleagues, coworkers, and others will all be safe in the knowledge that there is a strong safety system in place to protect them.
Additionally, ensuring that good fire safety practices are present will communicate to current and future clients that their safety is of paramount importance, and that yours is a legitimate business which is dedicated to ensuring the highest standards of security.