Being a responsible person can sometimes feel like a thankless task, with the looming prospect of prosecution should a person be injured under your watch.
So we’ve collected a few recommendations from one of the latest BRE (Building Research Establishment) reports, to help you stay ahead of the game and reduce a bit of that tension!
In his report, Live investigations of false fire alarms, Principal Consultant, Raman Chagger, makes several recommendations to be implemented by the responsible person to reduce false alarms.
Why is this important?
Well, false alarms can have a negative effect on many things.
The report outlines the estimated losses of around £1 billion a year that are attributed to false alarms as one of its main points.
It goes on to highlight the fact that false alarms massively reduce the public’s, that’s you and me, confidence in fire alarms. This is where it gets dangerous.
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Tests have shown that we’re pretty bad at reacting to fire alarms, which could be because the vast majority of times we hear them they’re either false alarms or practice runs.
Reducing false alarms could prevent this annual £1 billion loss and keep us all a little bit safer.
So, here’s what the responsible person in your business can do to reduce them:
BRE Report – The Recommendations
- In areas where objects might collide with a Manual Call Point (MCP), it should be fitted with side impact or other forms of protection.
- MCPs at risk of being triggered should be fitted with protective covers.
- Awareness of the recommendation in BS 7273-4 with regards to the use of green ‘break glass’ units should be increased.
- Where the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) connection is provided only for property protection, the use of a time-related system with a ‘day/night’ arrangement should be considered. This isolates the ARC connection during normal working hours and automatically restores it at the end of the working day.
- Where practical, businesses should be encouraged, through their own fire risk assessment, to implement the use of staff alarms/ investigation periods (in accordance with BS 5839-1) before calling the Fire Rescue Service to an automatic fire alarm.
- Logbooks should be easily accessible to responsible persons who should make entries of all events and follow-up investigations.
- The zone plan (see Figure 17) should be periodically reviewed and kept up to date.
- End users/responsible persons should be aware that the fire alarm system’s integrity is compromised when it’s displaying a fault or when parts of it are isolated
From sprinkler systems to false alarms, the last couple of months have seen some interesting headlines around fire safety for businesses.
Following these recommendations could help prevent your business from becoming another one of them.
If you’re worried about your business’s fire alarm system, then give us a call. We provide systems and maintenance, to help keep you, your employees and your responsible person as safe as possible.
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For more information, or to book yourself a free site survey where our engineers can plan a tailored solution for your business, fill out the form below.