As businesses gear up for the festive season, effective management of commercial fire systems becomes crucial. This is particularly important considering the recent crackdown on false alarm callouts in the UK, where many fire brigades now require a fire to be confirmed before responding to automatic fire alarms at commercial premises. This policy, aimed at reducing unnecessary callouts, highlights the importance of proper fire safety practices, especially fire system testing and maintenance, to prevent false alarms. For the longer-term, you can maximise fire system performance and reliability with a fully updated system and, by using wireless fire devices such as Hyfire’s Taurus, you can minimise the impact on your premises and day-to-day operations by facilitating rapid and efficient installation.
Preparation for Closed Periods
Before the festive break, it’s essential to address all fire risks. Turn off and unplug all electrical equipment and portable heaters. Ensure fire exits are clear, lighting is off, and fire alarms are tested. Keeping up with scheduled maintenance can ensure everything is in order. Additionally, securing the office reduces the risk of arson and helps in minimising false alarms, a concern under the new policy.
Electrical Equipment Management
Regular Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is vital, especially for seasonal decorations. Avoid overloading sockets and ensure safe placement of decorations, taking care to avoid installations such as heaters, ventilation ducts and any other electrical equipment. Equipping your office with CO2 fire extinguishers for electrical fires and maintaining them is also crucial in preventing the false alarms targeted by the new crackdown.
Portable heaters, while useful in cold weather, can pose a fire risk. Make sure they’re not blocked, are placed away from combustibles, and are turned off when not in use. Regular PAT testing for heaters is also crucial. Discouraging staff from bringing personal, untested heaters is also important, especially in light of the UK policy changes.
Sockets and Extension Cables
Overloading sockets and daisy-chaining extension cables should be avoided. Ensuring that cables are not trip hazards or running through doorways can help prevent electrical fires and the false alarms now under scrutiny by fire services.
Extra festive lighting increases the fire risk. Don’t overload sockets and keep decorations away from lights. Turning off all lighting when the office is closed can prevent fires and the false alarms that the new crackdown seeks to address.
Fire Doors and Exit Signage
Once your Hyfire fire system flags a confirmed activation, building occupants need a way out. That’s why the use of fire doors, ensuring they are not decorated, obstructed or propped open, is vital. Fire exit signage should be clear and you should conduct fire warden training for staff. These measures are key for safety and in response to the heightened focus on reducing false alarms.
With the festive season’s unique challenges in managing commercial fire systems, vigilance and proactive measures are crucial. Remember, no matter how effective the performance of fire systems, such as those manufactured by Hyfire, the avoidance of fire incident must always remain your first priority.
The recent crackdown on false alarm callouts in the UK underscores the importance of proper fire system maintenance and management. In this context, Taurus wireless fire devices from Hyfire stand out as optimal for businesses looking to replace, extend, or upgrade their existing fire systems. These solutions offer ease of installation, flexibility, and minimal disruption, ideal for urgent updates and installations.
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at Hyfire.