Preventing Fire Safety Complacency With Facilities Maintenance

Recent research has shown that around a third of British businesses are at risk by failing to test their fire systems as often as is legally required. The study illuminates some very worrying concerns around workplace fire safety, as well as related risks and business disruptions. This is also exacerbated by the increasingly prevalent remote or hybrid working system that has become the new normal for many commercial enterprises.

The Risk of False Fire Alarms

One primary area of concern is the risk of complacency arising from false fire alarms. 44% of surveyed respondents raised this as their main worry. Business owners expressed unease that this complacency would result in responses to fire alarms that lacked sufficient urgency or adherence to safety protocols. This presents a risk to life that cannot be ignored.

Against the backdrop of frequent false fire alarms, this risk to life is increased by the effect this has on fire services. The National Fire Chiefs Council has raised false alarms as an area requiring urgent attention. False alarms are the number one cause of call-outs for English Fire and Rescue Services – 42% of all incidents attended. The council has pointed out that this places undue stress on resources and ‘divert crews away from incidents, where life could be at risk.’

Your Fire Safety Responsibilities Simplified

There are nearly 20 000 commercial fires in Britain every year. The risk of non-compliance includes fines, business closures, and even imprisonment. Your statutory responsibilities are defined by the Regulatory Fire Reform (Fire Safety) Order of 2005. Broadly speaking, this covers the following obligations:

  • The appointment of a responsible person who is instrumental in precautionary measures and duties, as well as actions that should be taken in the event of a fire.
  • A regularly reviewed fire risk assessment and an updated fire safety logbook.
  • The provision of appropriate fire-fighting equipment. This includes fire extinguishers (the right type, in the right locations), which require annual maintenance testing by a competent person and industry certification.
  • Fire safety signs
  • Some businesses are required to install fire alarms or detection systems to certain certified standards. The alarm must be heard around the building and placement at every floor’s fire exit is required. Additionally, these systems must be maintained very six months and kept in good working order. Fire alarms also need to be tested weekly. These tasks need to be performed by competent individuals.
  • Emergency lighting may also be required – especially in larger premises. This lighting is especially important in communal areas, along escape routes, and in hazardous or high-risk areas of buildings. This lighting is also subject to testing and servicing.
  • Fire safety training and associated requirements need to be conducted – and repeated. This ensures that your team is completely au fait with what to do in a fire-related emergency.

Partner With Facilities Maintenance Specialists For Fire Safety Peace of Mind

Voltix Services offers installation, services, and maintenance of fire systems – working to standards that are in keeping with legislated requirements around fire safety. Ensure your fire safety compliance is met with minimal complexity and disruption to your operations. Contact Voltix Services to find out about our fire safety services today.