Fires are a persistent danger. Every year, they claim valuables, property and even lives. One of the reasons for the extensive damage is that fires start small, but can quickly get out of hand. Even fires that are put out promptly can cause smoke damage, often rendering a property uninhabitable—sometimes indefinitely. That’s why it’s so vital to have a properly installed, high quality fire alarm fitted in your home or business. At the very least, it gives people a chance to evacuate while there’s still time. At best, it might just prevent a fire from causing thousands of pounds worth of damage. In this post, we discuss the benefits of upgrading your fire alarm system.
Of the 261 fire-related fatalities in 2016-17, over a third (77) occurred in dwellings without smoke detectors or fire alarms. According to current government figures, around 11 percent of homes in the UK aren’t fitted with smoke alarms. To put these numbers in perspective, it means that forgoing a detector essentially triples your chances of dying as a result of a fire. Fire alarms give people the time to get out before a fire spreads to block the exits. The reason fire causes fatality is less because of the flames, more due to smoke inhalation.
A large number of people still use battery-powered smoke alarms. However, these have a much higher “failure rate” than their mains-powered counterparts. In fact, 39 percent of battery-powered smoke alarms failed during fires in 2016-17. This is almost double the failure rate of mains-powered alarms.
If you are still relying on battery-powered alarms for your home or business, it makes far more sense to upgrade to a mains-powered model. In many cases, businesses are actually required to have a certain level of fire detection equipment.
Commercial and industrial premises need to be fitted with a fire detection system. Although mandated by law, the legislation can be a little confusing and various factors need to be considered. It’s best to have a Fire Prevention Officer take a look, as they can advise you on what system your business needs to have in place. Fire detection systems also need to be reviewed and tested twice a year by a professional to ensure compliance and good working order.
As part of the review of your premises, you will also have to produce a Fire Risk Assessment to determine where dangers might occur and what your response will be. Depending on your business, it may be that certain areas of your premises are more likely ignition points than others.
It may be that your existing system is too old to be brought into compliance with modern legislation. Components may have worn out, and are no longer in production. It may be something as simple as the fact that none of your current employees can operate an old-fashioned system—including you. There are also structural factors to consider.
Not all businesses operate out of a purpose-built premises. In fact, many are based in old businesses originally designed for something else. In this case, it may be that a full overhaul of the fire alarm system is necessary.
If you’re interested in finding out more about quality fire alarm systems, take a look around our site – or get in touch with a member of our team today.