Ways to Prevent Fire Alarm System Failure and How Fire Safety Consultants Can Help

11 May 2020

Fire safety requires a great deal of knowledge covering a wide range of topics in regards to the fire protection system, including operational considerations, monthly and annual testing and inspection requirements, preventative maintenance, as well as various policies and procedures. To overlook or not have a good understanding of how fire alarm system operates can have catastrophic consequences in ensuring the safety of the buildings occupants. The element of risk, duty of care and responsibility for fire and life safety is a big burden, that is why prevention is the best way to address such. Below are ways to prevent fire alarm system failure and how fire safety consultants can help.

Regular Fire Alarm Cleanup

Smoke detectors and fire alarms are stationary. Once they are installed in a certain place, it will be difficult to move unless there is renovations going on. So they just stay there on the wall or on the ceiling, gathering all kinds of debris. These materials tamper with the sensitivity of the device, causing faulty detection. Some of the common materials that tamper with detectors include dust, dirt, lint and small insects.

When these materials buildup, it either increases the incidence of false alarms or reduces the sensitivity of the device. If you don’t do regular maintenance of your fire alarms, the problem could snowball and leave your alarms useless in the long run.

Install Fire Alarms Within High Enough Ceilings

One of the most common places where fire alarms are installed is the ceiling. However, high ceilings can pose a problem for heat detectors and smoke alarms. The fire alarm is located in a very high place and it would take a long time for the smoke to reach the top. Plus, the heat from the fire cools down as it rises, making it difficult for fire alarms to detect it. There is also the stratification phenomenon where a pocket of smoke just hovers below the ceiling, thus not reaching the alarm. Fire alarms installed on the ceiling are also hard to maintain and clean.

Install Appropriate Fire Alarms

Building codes determine what type of fire system and how many fire protection equipment should be installed, depending on the type of building. The building code was designed to provide a minimum level of safety to the building. This is important especially for building owners, managers and builders who have no idea what type of business is going to occupy the place. A building owner or manager should be aware of who will use the space and adapt to have the proper and suitable fire protection system installed. For example, a space occupied by a restaurant will have a different level of fire protection needs from that of a space occupied by a bank or an office.

Maintain Fire Alarm System

Fire protection systems should be regularly maintained to keep them 100% working. However, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions in cleaning the equipment to make sure you don’t damage the alarms. Aside from dusting and cleaning up the fire alarms, the occupants should also check if test the fire alarms by pushing the Test button.

Regularly Replace Fire Alarm Batteries

If you’re doing the monthly test of your fire alarms, you’ll know when the battery is poor or not functioning. In this case, you have to replace the battery. You should also schedule an annual change of battery to make sure they are replaced regularly.

Know more about fire alarms from Key Compliance. We will ensure that your property is completely compliant with all New South Wales fire safety regulations. Also, if any repairs or replacements are needed for your fire safety equipment, our fine team will recommend expert repair and maintenance companies to handle these improvements.