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Fire Alarms

Need help? Need help? Do you comply with Fire Alarm regulations? Protect Your Employees And Avoid Fines With Fool-Proof Fire Alarms And Smoke Detectors

In England alone, there were 11,292 fire incidents at non-domestic building in 2018 according to the Home Office.
Our selection of Fire Alarms & Detectors provides a variety of products that can help make the fire safety systems in your workplace effective. From Fire Alarms to smoke and carbon monoxide testers, these products will make certain that your employees are prepared if a fire should occur. Every company must comply with relevant regulations and assess the risk of fires in the workplace, as well as conducting regular tests of Fire Safety Equipment. The cost of Fire Alarms & Detectors is a small price to pay when compared to the possible damage and expense that a fire can cause.

For more information, see below for our expert advice.

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Expert Advice: Fire Alarms and Fire Detectors in the Workplace

You can't put a price on a life. According to the Home Office, in England alone, there were 11,292 fire incidents within non-domestic buildings during 2018. Fire safety is vital in all workplaces because it is proven to save lives. Fire alarms are an essential piece of equipment in the event of a fire in order to warn you and your colleagues to swiftly vacate the building. They are also a legal requirement for all working environments as a fire can start at any time.

What legislation covers fire alarm and smoke alarm safety in the workplace?

UK Fire Alarm Regulations are part of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, also known as the RRO. UK guidelines also recommend that all fire safety systems, including fire alarms and other detection systems such as smoke alarms, should be installed and maintained in accordance with the relevant British Standard BS 5839.

In spite of clearly laid out guidelines, there is sometimes confusion on the exact fire alarm regulations for commercial buildings, partly because your requirements will depend on a number of risk factors within your work environment. All business premises are required to ensure they have an appropriate fire detection system, which could mean different things depending on your building and the activities you carry out as a business.

For this reason, it is important to carry out a fire risk assessment to be certain of what is required in your building with regards to fire alarms, smoke detectors and other important fire safety equipment. Because of the very real risk that a fire could cause loss of life without an adequate alarm and detection system, fire safety should be taken seriously, and a failure to comply with regulations could result in fines and other sanctions.

How to detect a fire in the workplace?

Your workplace needs adequate fire detecting equipment. Conducting a fire risk assessment of the building should help you to decide what type of detection devices are most suitable. An unnoticed fire will cause serious danger to personnel and can increase evacuation time as exits can become blocked.

Smoke Detectors

Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors are devices with smoke sensors that monitor the air. If there are smoke particles in the air then the device will alert. Smoke detectors either have a built-in alarm or can be part of a fire alarm system connected to an alarm that will sound. The primary indicator of fire is smoke, meaning they are one of the most important devices to include in your fire alarm system.

Heat Detectors

Smoke Detectors

A heat detector activates an alarm when it detects a change in air temperature. The device may include an alarm or you will need to connect it to a fire alarm. There are two types - a fixed temperature heat detector or a rate-of-rise detector. These are suitable for areas where there is a large amount of steam, smoke or dust which could cause a false alarm if a smoke alarm was installed.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless gas and impossible to detect without a device. They are very similar to smoke detectors because when they detect a rise in carbon monoxide in the air they will sound an alarm. These detectors are vital to ensure that carbon monoxide poisoning does not occur.

How to warn employees of a fire in the workplace?

All workplaces should install a fire warning system with call points. Fire alarms are essential to inform people quickly that there is a fire in progress. The fire alarm should be a loud and distinct sound so that people can quickly detect that they need to vacate the building, even if there is loud background noise from machinery, for example. Also, in your fire risk assessment, you need to consider personnel with hearing impairments meaning you will need to install visual alarms like rotating lights.

Fire Alarms

Fire Alarms

Fire alarms warn your employees and visitors that a fire is occurring and they should evacuate the building as quickly as possible. The alarm can either be a standalone device or part of a network of detectors that are installed in the building. A fire alarm will give an audible and/or visible warning if there is an outbreak of a fire.

Fire Alarm Call Points

Call points enable people to raise the alarm in the event of a fire. They should be positioned on exit routes and on every floor of a building so that a fire alarm can be sounded in order to promptly evacuate the area as soon as a fire has been discovered. A call point is connected to the main fire alarm system.

Fire Alarm Comparison

Fire Alarm Series 65 Ionisation Smoke Detectors Battery Operated Smoke Alarm Cavius Wireless Smoke Alarm Series 65 Optical Smoke Detector
Type of Fire Alarm Ionisation Smoke Detector Ionisation Smoke Detector Optical Smoke Detector Optical Smoke Detector
Brand Apollo FireAngel Cavius Apollo
Mains Connected / x x /
Battery Operated x / / x
Wireless x x / x
Legislation and Conformity BS EN 54-7 BS EN 14604:2005 +AC:2008 BS EN 14604:2005, BS EN60065 & BS EN300-220 BS EN 54-7

Fire Alarm Series 65 BR Heat Detector Cavius Wireless Heat Alarm Carbon Monoxide Detector Radio Linked Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Type of Fire Alarm Heat Detector Heat Detector Carbon Monoxide Detector Carbon Monoxide Detector
Brand Apollo Cavius Kidde Aico
Mains Connected / x x x
Battery Operated x / / /
Wireless x / / /
Legislation and Conformity BS EN 54-5 BS EN54-5, BS EN60065 & BS EN300-220 BSI Kitemarked to EN50291 BS EN50291:2001

FAQ: Fire alarms and detectors in the workplace

How does a fire alarm system work?

A fire alarm system controls all the fire alarm devices in a building. It is composed of detection devices like smoke detectors and heat detectors as well as warning appliances like sirens and alarms. The whole fire alarm system is interconnected. [A fire can be detected automatically with one of the devices of manually with a call point]. The audible warnings (bells, sirens etc) connected to the system will then sound to alert your employees within the building. This means that, even if you have a lot of rooms within your premises, everyone will be warned of the potential danger and that they will need to evacuate.

Are Fire Alarm Drills Necessary?

Many commercial enterprises, understandably, do not want to spend precious work hours on regular fire alarm drills, but drills are an important element of your overall fire safety at work policy. Drills allow employees to practice evacuation and become familiar with fire escape routes. Companies that run fire alarm drills on a regular basis will be better prepared for the smooth evacuation of a building in the unlikely event of a real fire. UK government guidelines cover fire safety and evacuation plans and require, among other things, a clear passageway to all escape routes and training for all employees to know and use the escape routes. As an employer, you are obliged to provide fire safety training, to keep escape routes clear and to specifically ensure that all employees are familiar with evacuation routes out of the building. Regular fire alarm drills can be part of your workplace policy to check that you are meeting these requirements.

How often should fire alarm checks be carried out?

The best fire alarms are reliable and durable and come with built-in warning systems when the need for replacement occurs. However, it is essential to carry out regular checks to ensure that all fire safety, detection, and warning systems are still in full working order. UK fire and rescue services suggest that you should test all smoke alarm once a month using the test button fitted to the alarm. Other fire safety equipment will also require regular testing according to regulations and/or manufacturer's instructions.

An employer or nominated competent employee can carry out these checks and any routine maintenance work. Keep a record of the work carried out, both for your own benefit and to help demonstrate compliance with fire safety regulations if needed.

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