Most fatal fires are avoidable; we often hear stories in the news about people who have died or been seriously injured in a fire that was not only preventable, but would have been survivable had a working smoke or heat detector been in use at the home. For many people a smoke alarm is an annoyance that interrupts cooking and all too often people remove the battery to stop it going off, and then forget to replace it or actively decide that it is better to leave the battery out of an over sensitive smoke alarm. Fires in student homes and halls of residence often get out of hand before they are detected, as students may cover their smoke sensors with a sock or cling film, enabling them to smoke in their rooms without getting caught.
Most home fires are caused by electrical faults, by unattended candles, cigarettes or hair styling equipment or by careless cooking. Taking great care with these items can drastically reduce the risk of fire in your home and local fire services are always available to conduct a fire safety assessment of your home should you be concerned about anything. Also, make sure you change the batteries every 12 months and remember that your detectors should be replaced with a new one every 10 years.
Unfortunately, we can’t do a lot to change people’s behaviour when it comes to over-riding their smoke alarms, or their attitude to fire safety, but we can fit systems which can differentiate between normal cooking related smoke like burning toast, and a serious blaze. Some of our systems incorporate heat sensors as well, to determine the strength of a fire. These systems keep you safe while you are at home, and can alert you to a fire even if you are not home to hear the alarm sound, by sending text message alerts to your phone.
Businesses can benefit from a fire and heat detection system which alert the business owner via text and also alert the emergency services, so you may arrive to find the fire service already in action tackling the blaze. We recommend that high risk properties are also fitted with a sprinkler system that will start to dampen any flames before they get a chance to spread. It is also advisable to have your wiring checked yearly as well as mandatory appliance checks to ensure peace of mind regarding the integrity of your wiring. This is especially important in older properties that may have an electrical circuit comprising of old and new loops.
A smoke and fire detection system can be integrated into an intruder alarm system, so for businesses this is a great way to combine all your protective systems into one interface, and for domestic users a heat detection system can be integrated into a burglar alarm system, keeping the smoke detection separate and adding another layer of protection for times when no-one is home. We supply and install wireless smoke alarm systems, and these can still be integrated into existing security systems, removing the need for any upheaval in the property during installation.
In terms of meeting insurance policy requirements and fire safety standards, we only use equipment that conforms to BS 5839, the main regulation for compliance with health and safety laws regarding fire protection in the workplace. Most commercial insurance companies require proof of maintenance in order to maintain compliance with BS 5839, (part 1 of the regulation dictates that a system must be serviced regularly, which usually means twice per year with regular inspections) and we always supply a certificate on installation and after every service or maintenance activity. This paperwork is vital in order to make an insurance claim in the event of a fire, so for peace of mind it is a good idea to take out a maintenance agreement with us to keep you covered.