Business owners are always at risk of losing their businesses to fires and other natural calamities. Fires can start due to many reasons – a short circuit, incorrect wiring, overheating, or an earthquake. There are endless causes that can cause fires. As a result, there is loss of life and property, valuable information is lost, and many small to medium-sized businesses cannot sustain the costs of rebuilding after a fire.
It is crucial to know the fire risks and safety hazards in the workplace. Businesses are required by law to have safety exit doors for all employees and personnel. In case of emergencies, fire alarms help people understand the urgency of the life-threatening conditions surrounding them. They can evacuate in a hurry and save their lives. Fire alarm systems help monitor fire threats and help protect human life. Fire alarms also help protect property and assets.
Fire alarm monitoring systems help understand the gravity of the situation even if the building is empty and unoccupied. They help business owners notify emergency and fire personnel to curb the fire and stop it from spreading.
How do fire alarms work?
Fire alarms are of two types – those that run on building power and those that are battery operated. Some fire alarm systems also come as a combination of both to prevent a misfired warning in case of a power outage. These battery-powered fire alarms offer a secondary source of power to the sound system.
- If the alarm is a battery-powered one, business owners need to ensure that the batteries are changed at regular intervals to avoid battery failure. If the battery is in an inaccessible place on the system, it could be challenging to change. There is a fire alarm company in London that performs routine battery checks of all the batteries in such fire alarm systems. They also check the life cycles of the cells and ensure that they are charged or replaced immediately to help avoid the loss of property, assets, and life.
- Some batteries may last a few years, while some last a decade. Batteries that last a decade tend to be ignored and may malfunction over the long term.
- The fire alarms work by detecting smoke particles in the air. Some fire alarms also detect unusual spikes in an increase of heat. Combination fire alarm systems also offer detection of carbon monoxide levels and smoke particles (small and large). Depending upon the type of fire alarm you choose, you can also avail of emergency lighting features and decibel control in some alarms.
Why are fire alarms important?
Safety is the key concern when one thinks of fire alarms. Modern fire alarms are well evolved. Some have wall buttons that can be pushed to sound the alarm, whereas others have automatic fire and smoke detectors.
There has been a steady rise in fires since 2015, and the British government saw a phenomenal surge in fire breakouts in 2017. Since then, there have been strict regulations on properties to secure premises and have sound fire alarm processes, maintenance, and exit strategies in place.
Business owners can face serious legislative consequences if they fail to provide proper fire safety logs and maintenance records. Fire alarms are covered by BS 5839-1:2013 fire detection and fire alarm systems. This is the code for design, maintenance, installation, and commissioning of fire safety audits in non-residential properties. Commercial properties are at a higher risk than residential properties since they are left unattended during the nights and over most weekends. Many fires tend to break out without supervision.
Fire alarms help notify the police and emergency services in case of a breakout. Immediate care and attention are given in case an alarm is raised. Most fire alarm maintenance systems are routed with unique signals for emergency service protocols for prompt action.
Since fire alarm systems help protect valuable life, assets, and property, business owners have to, legally, provide safe and secure exits, fire safety hazard notices, fire extinguishers, fire alarms, maintenance, and security protocols for all.
Additionally, commercial property owners have to carry out mandatory fire safety drills and tests every quarter. They also have to run regular tests conducted by professionals (appointed by government officials) for inspection and servicing.
What happens after installing fire alarms?
After installing fire alarms for businesses, other areas of fire safety protocols need to be followed like adequate water supply for sprinkler systems, fire training for personnel and employees, safety drills and walkthroughs for all exit points, and fire alarm panels.