In the world of commercial hazards, fire is amongst the most expensive and most likely to completely decimate the building and other critical assets that a business owns. On account of this, it is necessary to implement preemptive measures to reduce the risk of fire hazards significantly and ultimately ensure the safety of all who are accommodated within the building. The very nature of implementation requires those responsible for it to go through several extensive processes and remain compliant with the legislature put down by the powers that be. One such process is the installation and regular testing of fire alarm systems, and another is the establishment of a fire alarm system contract to ensure the testing is done. Given how much work it takes to manage both processes, one might wonder just how important they are and if they can be forgone.
What is a fire alarm system contract?
A fire alarm system contract is a legally binding agreement between a business entity and a fire alarm system provider that defines the concept of ensuring fire safety with alarm systems in the context of code compliance and the optimisation of workplace safety. This agreement covers many things, including:
- The duration of the contract
- The terms and conditions of how the provider, on the premises of the business entity, would;
- Install the fire alarm systems
- Maintain the fire alarm system
- Conduct risk assessment,
- Service the fire alarm systems
- The roles that both parties – the business entity and the fire service alarm provider – are supposed to take during the duration of the contract
- The definition of the type and quality of the fire alarms that would be installed
- Stipulation of the regularity and frequency of maintenance and testing
- Processes and pathways for the repair and replacement of fire alarms if the need arises
- Terms of payment for services
- Cancellation of the contract if either party decides to do so.
This being said, it pays both parties (most especially the business entity) to review and redefine the terms of the contract as the business’s needs evolve or lessen. The establishment of this contract is necessary for the proper implementation of a fire alarm system.
What makes testing fire alarm systems so important?
In the patchwork of a fire alarm system contract, testing and maintenance are very vital aspects. This is related directly to the fact that fire alarm systems themselves need to be at optimal function ALL THE TIME to ensure that occupants of the building are always ready to respond to its call. This would allow for the swift evacuation of the premises in the event of a workplace fire.
The testing of fire alarm systems is necessary because
- Legislation dictates the necessity of a FUNCTIONING fire alarm system in all commercial buildings in the UK. To ensure that this is satisfied, testing and maintenance should be a ritual that is taken very seriously and strictly adhered to without fail. Failure to adhere strictly to these mandates opens the business entity to prosecution, fines, or other consequences contained within the law. The legislation for this law falls under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. It is advised that all business owners peruse this legislation before setting up a fire alarm system so as to remain in compliance with it after installation.
- The goal of fire safety in the workplace is to ensure the safety of all charges within; after all, every employee has a right to a safe workspace they can be comfortable. In addition to this being code-compliant, it allows your employees to be productive without problems. A fire alarm system would help you and your employees to detect fires before they reach disastrous levels. In the event that the fire is not able to be contained easily, a functioning fire alarm system would alert the occupants of the building and give them enough time to evacuate before the building is consumed. For this to be ensured, regular testing and maintenance are needed to keep the alarm system ready for such scenarios.
- Regular testing of fire alarm systems would directly translate to the mitigation of damages in most cases. Fire alarm systems are usually connected to preventive systems like sprinklers,and also shut off devices in the event of a fire alarm activation, like air conditioning system, gas inlet, so these would preemptively cut out the potential inferno from the origin and prevent the spread to other parts of the building. Should the flames actually spread, the fire alarm would keep fire services informed and alerted; quick response is virtually assured, so parts of the building can be salvaged, saving the building owner tons in damage. This “virtually assured response” would only actually be assured if the fire alarm system responds to the potential threat in time.
- Last but not least, testing your fire alarm systems empowers you to identify and immediately address any concerns with the system. Doing this regularly is basically part and parcel of owning a fire alarm system; for there is no point in owning one if it isn’t going to function correctly during an emergency. In some cases, the alarm system can present as being at optimal function, but on closer analysis and testing, you find that there are minor glitches that could have devastating effects when present at the moment of truth.
In conclusion, the establishment of a fire alarm system contract is essential to securing regular testing of the fire alarm system on your premises. This would save lives, make the workplace safer, mitigate damages, and keep your organisation within the legislative bounds of your country. Brunel Fire and Security is a fire service provider you can trust to help maintain your fire alarm systems. Contact us today and let us help with keeping your premises safer.