Fire Alarm Installations

One of the most frustrating aspects of the job of being in the fire service is the high number of call-outs caused by false fire alarms. There are an astonishing number of false fire alarm emergencies each year and the fire & rescue services have released a lot of publicity to help raise awareness and reduce the numbers of false call-outs.

The main problem is that false fire alarms are being triggered because they have been installed incorrectly, or the fire alarm system hasn’t been very well maintained.

While anyone can purchase a standard fire alarm system to set up and use by themselves, the only requirement is that it be installed by a competent person. However, not everyone is competent enough to be able to design, install and commission an adequate fire-safety system, especially for large premises or those with a high risk of fire hazards.

Call in the experts

While you may think it is acceptable for someone to buy fire alarm equipment from a DIY shop or online, how do you know you are getting the right one? How do you know that the system is suitable to meet your needs and will adequately cover you and alert you in the event of a fire?

The fire service believe that poor designing and purchasing of fire alarm equipment is one of the most major contributors to the problem of high false alarm numbers. You have to ask yourself that should the worst happen to you, who will be legally responsible should your fire alarm system fail to work or function properly as laid out in the fire code BS5839-1?

The Fire-Safety  Order 2005, states that the designer, installer and commissioning personnel must be competent to perform the task involved. So should you leave installing your fire alarm to someone that is not properly trained and qualified to do so? For your own safety, we don’t believe that you should.

Proper fire alarm planning

Even before a fire alarm system is purchased, you should take the right approach to ensure your risks of fire are minimised. This involves having a fire risk assessment take place first before anything else. Having a fire risk assessment done will then give you your fire risk category that is based on the risks involved.

Once you have a designated fire risk category, your fire risk assessment would be passed onto an experienced fire alarm designer with good working knowledge of fire code BS5839-1:2013. The designer would then be able to thoroughly survey your property and create an effective fire alarm design that lays out a plan for your system

Now that you have your fire alarm plan, this then can go to a qualified fire alarm installer and commissioning engineer who would then install your fire alarm according to the design specifications.

This is the proper procedure for assessing your fire-safety needs, mapping out your fire alarm system and installing your working protection system. You can feel confident and reassured that your fire alarm installation has been placed into truly competent hands – those of a professional fire alarm installation company that specialise in just that!

Remember that should the worst happen, the person that would be legally held responsible for a failing fire alarm system would be the designated Fire Safety Officer. This person in most cases would be the employer, building manager or building owner. If that is you, would you really want this responsibility weighing on your shoulders if you know or suspect that your fire alarm system isn’t up to scratch?