Fires that occur in the workplace can have a devastating impact on your business, staff and clients, regardless of your industry. In 2016/17, there were more than 19,000 fires that affected businesses across the UK. Around 30% of the fires were deliberate, however, that leaves 70% that were accidental and, therefore, may have been avoided. One of the most important layers of protection against commercial fires is an efficient and effective fire alarm installation. Without an operational fire alarm installation, you may realise that a fire has broken out too late to save the property. This, understandably, poses a significant risk to life as well as your business.
If you have a fire alarm in your commercial property which protects you from the damage a fire can cause, you must be able to trust in its effectiveness. Without an effective fire alarm system, you may be putting yourself and your staff at significant risk of danger. If you’re concerned about your fire alarm installation, it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry. Here, we take a look at the crucial signs that it may be time to replace the fire alarm installation in your commercial property. Read on to find out more.
Some Crucial Signs That Your Fire Alarm Installation May Need Replacing
Your Fire Alarm System is Too Old To Remain Compliant
One of the most important signs that you must get your fire alarm system replaced is that it has aged past the point of regulatory compliance. It’s imperative to replace smoke detectors and fire alarms once every 10 years. Regulatory compliance laws are put in place to protect homeowners and business owners alike from the risks associated with having a faulty fire alarm installation. As such, it’s essential to have all smoke alarms and fire alarms tested regularly and replaced every decade.
BS 5839 suggests that a fire alarm installation should be inspected by a professional at least once every six months. For larger commercial properties with complex alarm systems, a check every three months is recommended. Remaining compliant with regulation is essential for the safety of your staff, property and business. If you’re in doubt about your fire alarm installation, always call out a professional from EK Fire Protection to inspect it. We can provide you with the assistance you require to keep in line with legislation.
The System is Damaged
Faults and failures in fire alarm systems can be deadly. If you have noticed that your system keeps on tripping up, it may be more than a simple repair or service can manage. Fire alarm systems can break down in several ways – many may be simple to fix but some could be more challenging and require a system overhaul.
If your building has suffered the impact of extreme weather – high winds, heavy rain or even lightning – then your system may be irrevocably damaged. If water floods the panel or a lightning strike hits, then the electrical damage caused may be too much to fix. Similarly, fire alarm installations that haven’t been maintained correctly, may have degraded past the point of no return. By maintaining your system well, most issues that face your alarm should be fixable by a trained technician.
You’re Expanding Your Premises
As you build extensions or upgrades to areas of your business, it’s essential to ensure that your fire alarm installation adequately covers your entire property. Particularly if you are building a new wing to a residential building, expanding a large commercial property, like a shopping centre, it will be essential to also extend and/or replace your existing fire alarm installation.
Instead of replacing the entire system, you may be able to extend the system you already have in place to cover the new area of the property. Alternatively, you may have to run a separate fire alarm system for the new section of the property.
You’re Going Through Renovation Works
Similarly to expanding a new area of your commercial building, going through significant renovations may also require you to replace your existing system. If a design shake-up results in a completely different layout of the building, new fire alarms and passive fire protection measures may have to be installed. If your renovations are insignificant, then you may be able to continue with your current system and minimum downtime. However, your existing system may become unsafe for use if renovations have dramatically altered the size, shape and use of a room.
As well as this, if you are moving into a new property, the current fire alarm system may not be suitable for your business, depending on which sector you operate in. For example, if your business handles materials that can set alight easily and are a fire risk, you may need to bolster or replace the existing fire alarm installation in the new property if it does not adequately account for that additional risk.
There’s Been a Significant Change in Legislation
You never know when legislation may dramatically change. If a fire-related tragedy takes place in the UK, the government may begin motions to bolster safety measures. This can have a huge impact on your business when it comes to making sure that you have a legally compliant fire alarm installation in place. For example, in the wake of the terrible Grenfell tragedy, many changes to fire safety legislation have been proposed and are currently being discussed.
If there is a significant legislative change on the horizon, it’s imperative to keep on top of it and understand how it impacts or may impact, the fire alarm installation in your business. By recognising these changes as they are being discussed, you can remain ahead of the game and will know whether you will have to invest in significant changes in the future and be able to forecast for it.
The Signs That Your Fire Alarm Installation May Require Servicing, Repairs or Maintenance
Aside from replacement, it’s also vital that you can recognise the signs that your system may require general servicing or maintenance work. Ensuring that your fire alarm installation is always well-maintained should reduce the likelihood that it needs a complete replacement – not before it is due to be replaced in any case! If you notice any of the below symptoms in your system, contact the experts at EK Fire Protection for professional servicing and maintenance checks.
- Your fire alarm beeps continuously
- It’s been more than six months since you last had it looked at
Your alarm hasn’t gone off when there’s been an emergency
- Erratic sounds during a weekly test
Looking For Fire Alarm Engineers For Your Fire Alarm System in Kent? Look No Further Than EK Fire Protection
If you’ve been looking for expert fire alarm installers ‘near me’ in Kent, look no further than EK Fire Protection! We provide a wide range of fire protection services for businesses across the county. From fire alarm installation services and fire alarm system maintenance, our fire alarm engineers are on hand to provide you with all of the services you might require. As well as emergency light and fire alarm installations, we also provide fire safety assessments to help you ensure your property is safe and secure. All of our fire alarm engineers follow the latest fire regulations and are highly trained.
With years of experience under our belts, we have worked with countless clients in a range of industries. Working with film studios, heritage sites, building sites, hotels and food production factories, we can provide services to you regardless of the industry you’re in. So, if you’ve been looking for fire protection companies ‘near me’ in Kent and East Sussex, get in touch with EK Fire Protection today! We’re only a call away.
To find out more, please feel free to contact us today. You can find us at E K Fire Protection Ltd Castle View Park, Holmestone Road, Dover, Kent, CT17 0UG. Alternatively, call us on 01304 210 909 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.