How to Service a Commercial Fire Alarm System

 

 

The effects of commercial fires are well documented: damage to property, long-term disruption to businesses and inconvenience to the local area. In the worst cases, injury or death to people through burns, smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning leave devastating results.

In England alone, 2019/20 saw the fire service deal with 14,300 fires in non-dwelling properties with the cost of some major fires far exceeding £500,000. To minimise such catastrophes, businesses must ensure suitable emergency access to their properties at all times, as well as installing adequate and comprehensive fire detection equipment. In addition to completing regular risk assessments to prevent fire, facilities managers or site managers must ensure that fire alarm systems are running properly as part of their Duty of Care to employees, visitors and customers.

Why is it so important to service my fire alarm?

From cars to boilers, everything performs better and lasts longer if it’s serviced. Fire alarms are no exception, and with lives and livelihoods at stake, regular fire alarm services are an essential part of your premises’ maintenance. Modern systems have many parts, including a fire alarm control panel, heat detectors, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. With electrical and mechanical components included, it takes some skill and time to ensure that everything is functioning as it should.

A correctly functioning fire alarm system will act as an early warning system allowing swift notification of the fire service, and enable safe and timely evacuation, thereby minimising damage to persons and property.

While not as dangerous as a genuine fire alarm, according to the Fire Industry Association, false alarms can cause great inconvenience, including the cost of emergency fire service call out and cash lost from business downtime. False fire alarms accounted for 42% of fire service incidents in 2020 and can result in increased insurance premiums, as well as taking the fire service away from real emergencies. Fire alarm systems that go without service are more likely to malfunction.

Neglecting to check your fire alarm battery or keep up to date with fire alarm testing isn’t worth the risk to your staff or business. Failure to display a valid fire alarm test certificate or non-adherence to fire alarm regulations for non-dwelling buildings in England can result in unlimited fines and up to 2 years’ imprisonment.

Who can service my fire alarm?

As the ‘responsible person’ in your business, you must ensure that your building(s) adhere to fire alarm regulations for commercial buildings.This means that all fire alarm installation and fire alarm maintenance works must be delivered to the latest UK fire alarm regulations and in accordance with BS 5839-1.

You can do this by using a competent supplier to carry out regular risk assessments and servicing of your fire alarm system, fire extinguishers, fire alarm control panel, smoke detectors and heat detectors. This will help keep your staff and customers as safe as possible while on your premises.

phs Compliance offers fire alarm testing, service and maintenance to all of these required standards, along with fire extinguisher servicing, fire alarm installation, design, project management and commissioning. We are inspected annually by third-party accreditation bodies who verify that we maintain the highest level of competency to British Approval for Fire Equipment (BAFE) and UKAS standards. We’ll provide the required fire alarm test certificate to prove your compliance.

To keep up with more of your business’ legal obligations, phs Compliance also provides Portable Appliance Testing (PAT), preventive maintenance for mechanical heating, cooling, air conditioning and ventilation systems, and remedial electrical services, so that you can take care of your business while we look after some of the equipment that allows your staff to operate efficiently and safely.

To learn more about our Fire Alarm Systems, to get a quote, or simply to ask a query, please feel free to contact us now!

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