Fire safety is essential for any type of building. Whether you are looking for smoke detectors for your home or entire fire alarm systems for a commercial building, you must have all the information before committing. Here at London Fire Solutions, we pride ourselves on ensuring facilities operate to the highest fire safety standards and meet all the necessary regulations. We want to ensure that all occupants have the best possible chance of survival should a fire breakout.
That is why we have compiled our list of the five things that you need to consider before choosing your fire alarm. We will give you all your possible options and hopefully point you in the direction of your perfect fire safety system. If you have any questions about your current fire alarms, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always eager to help you out with any queries you may have.
1. Building Type
The first thing you need to be considering when choosing a smoke alarm is the kind of surrounding environment. Every building is unique, so fire safety systems need to be adapted to accommodate individual needs. For example, suppose yours is a hospital or care facility. In that case, you need to have sensitive and interconnected detectors, as it is a lot more challenging to evacuate anyone inside in the case of a fire. Interconnected systems ensure that all alarms are triggered when only one has actively detected smoke or fire, so everyone in the building is alerted as soon as possible.
2. Building Layout & Size
The smaller your building is, the better suited it will be for more conventional fire alarms. This includes homes and small businesses such as small street shops. More traditional systems rely on one control panel connecting each device separately into different ‘zones’. We highly advise you to consider an advanced system in a larger building, such as an office block or a large commercial building. This is beneficial to buildings with multiple stories. All detectors can be connected on a wire loop to the control panel. You can also adapt these systems to trigger other fire safety measures in your building, such as sprinkler systems and closing fire doors.
3. Asses All Risks
No two buildings are the same, and each poses its risks in the case of fire. Your fire alarms need to be installed in the optimum positions so they can detect smoke as fast as possible. This will give all occupants of the building the maximum amount of time to evacuate. All of your additional fire protective methods depend first and foremost on your fire alarms, so they must be doing all they can for you.
It is mandatory in commercial buildings to undergo fire safety risk assessments and regular surveys of any fire safety equipment. Your facility must adhere to the current legislation in place and comply with government regulations. London Fire Solutions provide a surveying & risk assessment service for residential, industrial, educational, healthcare facilities, and more. We are experts in fire safety and will give recommendations on any repair work necessary so you can achieve optimum compliance.
4. Types Of Smoke Alarm
Once you have assessed all of your building’s potential risk factors, you can begin looking at what types of systems and models on the market are best suited for you. When searching for a new fire alarm, there are several things you should be looking out for. You need to consider battery life and how often it will require replacing. Some models have in-built battery monitors, so you know when it needs maintenance. Escape lighting is an additional feature that can help direct you to the nearest exit. You may also want to consider protection against insects and other debris interfering with the sensor.
All of these elements need to be considered to save you time and money in the long term. All smoke detectors should come with a warranty of five years minimum, and even up to ten years. This will provide an extent of guarantee that they will work optimally for a prolonged period. You can opt for hardwired systems which run off electricity or the more conventional battery-powered option. Both are excellent choices so long as they are well maintained, with battery-operated systems being a lot quicker and easier to install.
5. Fire Alarm Monitoring
The London Fire Brigade issued a warning that people may not keep their alarms and safety systems maintained or regularly tested since the Coronavirus pandemic. This puts people at an increased risk of danger. If you are one of the many businesses that had to close during the national lockdown, you must check the function of your smoke detectors. If you are linked to a monitoring system, you must ensure that this connection is still in place.
Fire alarm monitoring services provide an extra level of insurance and reliability for your alarm system. In excessive smoke or fire, it will immediately call out the nearest fire-rescue department to your location. This is particularly useful when buildings are uninhabited, for instance, throughout the night. The monitoring system can then inform both the building owners and the fire brigade at the time of the fire. Monitoring is also beneficial in hospitals and residential homes where many people evacuate and reduce potential fire damage to the building.
Although the matter of fire safety is severe, it doesn’t have to be scary. We hope that the information we have provided is reassuring and will guide you to do the right thing for your building’s fire alarm system. If you have a current fire alarm system that you think requires maintenance or looking for a completely new smoke detector installation. Our team at London Fire Solutions can help you. You can schedule an appointment with one of our engineers at any time. They will take a look at your London-based property and the kind of attention it needs to meet regulations. No task is too big for us, so please give us a call or email us, and we will be able to put your mind at ease.