Having fire alarms in the workplace or home is something that most people take for granted. However, they’re an integral part of all our lives and should be maintained and checked regularly to ensure they’re in full working order.
Why Are Fire Alarms Important?
We all know that fire alarms are important but still seem to find it a chore to properly maintain them and check them. It’s always at the bottom of the list – a task that can be left until tomorrow.
However, leaving the fire alarm test until tomorrow could put you, your colleagues, or your family in great danger.
● Alerts You Earlier
The most obvious benefit of a fire alarm is that it alerts you earlier to the fire itself. If you happen to be asleep at the time that a fire breaks out, or if you’re in a different place in the building, the fire alarm will alert you immediately when it feels heat or senses smoke. This means that you would be able to evacuate the building, even before you know there’s a fire.
One of the biggest causes of death by fire is that people don’t consider testing or checking their fire alarms. If a fire breaks out in your home overnight, you might not know until it’s already too late, however, a fire alarm will alert you to the threat so you can deal with it safely.
● Alerts the Emergency Services
Professional fire alarm systems set up for businesses will alert the emergency services as soon as they sense fire. This means you can be confident that help is on the way while you focus on getting everyone out of the building.
● Provides a Location of the Fire
If you have large business premises, you’ll likely be unaware of a fire immediately, as it may not break out in a location near you. Professional fire alarms can be set so that the fire alarm that’s triggered gives a location in the building to the emergency services and yourself. This allows firefighters to immediately go to the source of the problem, meaning the fire will likely be extinguished much faster.
● Gives You A Chance To Contain A Fire
Being alerted to a fire earlier gives you more chance to contain and limit the damage. Some fire alarms can be linked to fire shutters, which automatically close if a fire is detected or if a member of staff pushes the alarm.
Fire shutters limit the fire’s oxygen, which means they’ll be unable to spread, and a closed-door can contain the fire for an extra 30 minutes, leaving more time for everyone to evacuate the building. This assistance in containing the fire can mean that you preserve a larger part of your business premises, costing you less money in repairs.
Maintaining Your Fire Alarm System
There are a few steps that you should take both in the home and in the workplace to ensure that your fire alarm is always in full working order.
In The Home
- Test your fire alarm monthly using the test function.
- Change the batteries yearly – regardless of use – or even purchase a fire alarm that is wired into your home electronically.
- Install a fire alarm in as many rooms as possible. The most important places are outside your kitchen and at the top of the stairs.
- Ensure your children get involved with fire alarm safety so they know what to do in the event of a fire.
- Conduct a weekly fire alarm test.
- Ensure everyone understands the break glass functionality and what to do if they notice a fire.
- Have a company regularly check each of your fire alarms for corrosion.
- Ensure you install a fire alarm in every room of the building to allow for faster alert times and evacuations.
- Fire alarms should pass all health and safety standards and will need a full audit annually.