If you are responsible for Fire safety or are a resident of a high-rise, multi-occupancy property you will be only too aware of the increased awareness of the need for enhanced fire detection and evacuation processes.
The former ‘stay put’ guidance is now regarded as unsafe and has been replaced by a ‘simultaneous evacuation’ strategy.
Many properties have deployed a waking watch service; this is a fire protection service and involves marshals patrolling to lookout for potential signs of a fire. They are also responsible for raising the alarm.
These services are costing property owners and residents thousands of pounds. A Waking Watch service can be replaced by a wireless Fire Detection System. This meets all the required standards and is quickly and easily installed. The total one-off cost of a Fire Detection System can be less than 10 weeks of a Waking Watch service.
BS 8473:2006 European Standards for Intruder Alarm Systems
Code of Practice for an intruder and hold-up alarms – Management of false alarms.
BS 8473 has been drawn up to assist all parties in the management of false alarms, to reduce the disproportionate level of resources being absorbed by the police, the alarm industry, customers and operators as a direct result of false activations.
Preventing false alarms: points to remember;
The intruder alarm system (IAS) is to be operated only by persons who have been correctly trained. If there is uncertainty about the correct operational procedures the alarm company should be contacted.
Before leaving the premises to check that all doors and windows are physically secured. A walk around the supervised area is the only effective way of doing this properly.
Ensure that detection devices are not obstructed. In particular be careful that infrared beams and movement detectors are not obstructed by stock or other items.
If movement detectors are used do not introduce sources of heat, movement or sound into the area supervised by these detectors without informing the alarm company.
Always follow the entry/exit procedure agreed with the alarm company. Entry through any door other than the one designated should be physically prevented. Switching off the IAS is always the first task on entry.
Before entry, ensure that the means necessary to enter the premises and unset the IAS are known and available in a secure manner to the operator.
Inform the alarm company of any alterations to the premises which could affect the IAS. Do not permit people other than employees of the alarm company to make changes to the IAS. Place system on a test when building immediately.
Treat the IAS with care. Wiring and detection devices can be accidentally damaged or moved. If this occurs to inform the alarm company immediately.
After a false alarm, check the system carefully, and if possible, note the cause of activation. Inform the alarm company of the believed cause of the activation immediately.
Make sure regular maintenance checks are carried out by the alarm company and that you have the correct contact details for the alarm company and ARC. Remember that excessive false alarms can result in police response being withdrawn.
Most IAS require a mains electricity supply. If the electricity supply to your system is disconnected for more than 4 h contact the alarm company.