1st Fire Safety Ltd

Helping businesses on a local and national basis call: 0121 6616464

1st Fire Safety Ltd  - Helping businesses on a local and national basis call: 0121 6616464

Alternative to Interlinked Smoke Alarms

Alternative To Interlinked Smoke Alarms

If you are a landlord it is an absolute must that you protect your tenants against the potential risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Statistics show that tenants and people living in shared accommodation are seven times more likely to have a fire.

 

It can be expensive and disruptive to your property to have interlinked smoke detectors fitted as they need to be channelled  in, floorboards removed or have ugly plastic trunking fitted everywhere. If you don’t know what ionization and optical means (does your electrician know this?) then it can be confusing too.

This confusion attributes to false alarms, detectors being covered or even removed altogether by tenants.

Covered smoke detector

There are interlinked smoke alarm systems out there that can simplify choice and make installation of fire systems a whole lot easier without the disruption and mess of having the standard wired in systems. They use a technology called Thermoptek – the very latest in optical sensing and thermal enhancement providing fast reaction to both slow and fast burning fires.

These systems are up to the current fire regs standard and only need to be wired in to the lighting circuit once on each floor as the rest of detectors will link wirelessly with Wi safe 2 technology. Up to 50 detectors can be linked in one network.

Wi safe 2 technology

Each detector unit is fitted with a 10 yr sealed for life battery which will give you peace of mind knowing that all the alarms will work in the event of a power cut plus will also ensure empty properties are protected too.

This technologically advanced interlinked smoke alarm system will also save on energy as there is less power needed to run them thus saving you on your energy bills too.

Below are a couple of companies that provide this technology

http://www.sonasafety.com/

http://fireangel.co.uk/Wi-Safe/Products/WST-630.aspx

Fire Risk Assessment Review

 

 Fire Risk Assessment Review

I thought that I would start the new year with some advice on fire risk assessments and in particular ‘fire risk assessment review’

keepclear.jpg

 

Firstly I will tell a story of what happened when I carried out a fire risk assessment review on a large country home/hotel incorporating holiday lets. I was contacted just before Christmas by a health and safety company who I have carried out fire risk assessments for them in the past. They asked if I would do a review of one their own fire risk assessments which was carried out the year before by one of their consultants.

A review is where you check to see if the previous action plan has been actioned on and at what stage they are at, I also I need to put my fire risk assessment hat on too so if I spot something that wasn’t picked up before or has happened since the last fire risk assessment was carried out then I need to tell them about that too and include it in my report. It is not a full fire risk assessment.

However

Since the last time the fire risk assessment was carried out , I found the below deficiencies.

Two fire doors in the kitchen area had no intumescent strips (they had somehow fell out) , these help seal the door in a fire and help prevent the spread of smoke and fire.  Kitchens are a high risk area and any deficiencies in fire safety could put the premises and people at risk.

A fire door in one of the corridors didn’t close at all  – this compromised the protected route.

A recently installed fire door had been incorrectly fitted, the gap between the top of the door and the frame were well above the 3mm standard and was approaching nearly 7mm – the intumescent strips won’t work correctly if above 4mm which is the max permitted gap.

The electric cupboard had holes in the brickwork and ceiling where electrical cables pass through, these hadn’t been fire stopped still.

A completely new electric cupboard hadn’t been picked up from the previous fire risk assessment, inside this there was a stool and table – all electric cupboards/services should be free of any combustible materials.

 

What if this fire risk assessment review was done every two years instead of annually? Would the problems double? What about the paying public and staff safety?

How many companies review their fire risk assessments annually or if ever?

 

The Fire Safety Order states that you should review your fire risk assessment regularly however there is no specific time frame on this. It also states that you should also review your fire risk assessment when there have been:

 

  • Changes to work activities or the way that you organise them, including the introduction of new equipment;
  • Alterations to the building, including the internal layout;
  • Substantial changes to furniture and fixings;
  • The introduction, change of use or increase in the storage of hazardous substances
  • The failure of fire precautions, e.g. fire-detection systems and alarm systems,
  • Change of use, e.g. hotel to hostel or hall of residence to residential conference centre

 

My intention here isn’t to rubbish the previous fire risk assessment as there was nothing wrong with it.  It is to highlight what can happen if you don’t review your fire risk assessment regularly

 

So my question is: When was your last fire risk assessment review?