As the property owner, you are responsible for fire safety precautions to keep the occupants safe. The regulations include every building and infrastructure outside of individual private homes. If you’re running a flat rental, however, these shared areas should also fall under fire safety.
The best place to start is to get the right fire alarm system, but there are many more factors that come into play, such as alarm testing. To learn more about your responsibilities as a property owner, here is a simple guide for you. Here, we tackle all the most commonly asked questions:
1 – Why do I need to provide fire alarms?
Fire alarms save lives, as they provide people ample time to escape should a fire start. It’s also mandated by law and in the event of the fire, having an alarm means quicker response—more lives saved and less damage to your building.
2 – Are they required by law?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 mandates property owners make sure that their premises satisfy fire safety standards. The UK’s fire regulations are rather less straightforward if you’re unfamiliar with the complexities of fire safety, but they generally require owners to install fire alarm systems. The UK government also recommends that all fire alarm systems should be regularly maintained.
3 – What type of fire alarm do I need?
Shopping for a fire alarm system may seem daunting, but here are the three main types you need to consider:
- Conventional Fire Alarm: This alarm divides your premises into broad zones, so in the event of a fire, the conventional fire alarm identifies the zone. This is most suitable for properties with low risks, as it cannot identify the precise location of the fire.
- Addressable Fire Alarm: These types of alarm come in individual packages, each with a unique electronic address. If one is activated, the panel identifies where the precise problem area is. These work best for higher risk environments, such as hospitals, schools, and care homes.
- Wireless Fire Alarm: This utilises a secure wireless link between the fire alarm panel and sensor, which is reminiscent of the addressable fire alarm system without wires. This also works best for higher risk environments.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 does not specify what type of fire alarm system should be used in specific premises, and the final decision depends entirely on your building’s needs.
4 – How often should a fire alarm be tested?
The legislation mandates property owners to regularly maintain their fire alarm systems, although the frequency has not been provided. Experts recommend, however, that these systems should be inspected by professionals at least every six months.
Fire alarm systems play a vital role in the safety of commercial properties. The safety requirements of each building vary, so choosing the right set of fire alarm systems must be treated with the utmost importance. Frequent tests should also be conducted, as this further safeguards the occupants and property against fire.
More importantly, it’s your responsibility as the property owner to fulfil your legal obligations regarding the fire alarm system testing. Learning more about the regulations and requirements is a starting point, so keep the aforementioned information in mind.
If you’re looking for retail fire system or fire protection services in Hertfordshire, we offer the best solutions, ensuring quality work and with our qualified technicians!