Fire Alarms UK: Peace of mind and keeping your loved ones safe is a priority for anyone in the UK. Installing a professional fire alarm system will provide you with the security and knowledge that should the worst happen, you will have the means to be alerted and keep everyone safe.
HOME FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS
The most basic fire alarm system can take the form of battery or mains operated smoke detectors placed in strategic locations around your home in the UK. While this may alert you of a fire in a certain area, it may not be enough if you have a larger home, forget to replace smoke alarm batteries or want full peace of mind.
Automatic fire alarm systems are available in the UK as either stand alone systems or can be linked into existing security equipment for full control and ease of use.
A professionally fitted automatic fire alarm system will ensure any abnormal smoke or heat is detected as soon as possible, and gives you and your family enough time to evacuate your property. Before any installation takes place a professional company in the UK will consult with you and perform a fire risk assessment of your home. This will take into account high risk areas and also methods of evacuation for any occupants. After this assessment they will be able to provide advice and recommendations on the type of fire alarm system that would be suitable for your circumstances.
It is possible to choose a completely wire free fire alarm system in order to reduce installation costs and keep disruption to a minimum. While this may appear to be the easiest option, it does have its drawbacks. Wireless sensors will require regular battery checks to ensure they are working correctly and can be forgotten or disregarded due to the busy day to day lives we lead in the UK.
Wired fire alarm systems in the UK will include a rechargeable battery feature powered from the mains electricity supply, in many cases. These batteries will also have to be inspected, but the replacement times are much further apart and offer an always-on solution in the event of a power failure.
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRIAL FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS
In addition to personal fire protection and alarm systems, businesses in the UK are required by law to have some form of fire alarm system that corresponds to one of eight categories.
THE EIGHT CATEGORIES OF FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS
Fire alarm categories all have associated letters to quickly allow referencing to their purpose.
M - Manual fire alarm systems.
L - Automated fire alarm systems to protect and preserve life.
P - Automated fire alarm systems to protect property.
Manual Fire Alarm System - Category M: Simplest form of alarm where the occupants of a building in the UK raise the alarm by shouting and using a break glass alarm system or manually operated device to raise a fire alarm.
Maximum Life Protection - Category L1: Fire and smoke detection units are linked into a central alarm system which will sound an alert to the whole building should a fire start. This gives the earliest warning to all occupants in the event of a fire and is especially suitable for care homes and hotel premises in the UK.
Additional Life Protection - Category L2: More suited for factories and HMO premises in the UK, an L2 fire alarm system adds detection devices to all areas of a building, including possible escape routes, corridors and high risk places like kitchens and boiler rooms.
Standard Life Protection - Category L3: Any room that opens out to an escape route, as well as escape route corridors and stairwells require some form of linked detection to allow occupants to leave a building safely. This ensures people will not be directed in a fire towards any affected areas.
Modest Life Protection - Category L4: Only escape routes and gathering points require detectors to be installed to ensure a safe passage out of a building in the UK.
Localised Life Protection - Category L5: Used to identify and protect a specific area of a building in the UK that has a perceived higher risk of fire. This could be because of the storage of certain materials, or the way in which the room is used.
Maximum Property Protection - Category P1: A P1 fire alarm system utilises detectors in all rooms of a building in the UK in order to detect and alert the relevant authorities of a fire. This ensures any critical components of a business face a lower risk of disruption due to a fire and thus reduces any financial setback.
Minimum Property Protection - Category P2: Fire and smoke detectors are placed in high risk areas only, which while not as comprehensive as a P1 system, does reduce the risk of a substantial fire taking hold within a building in the UK.
FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS INSPECTION, TESTING AND MAINTENANCE
Purchasing a fire alarm system for your home or business in the UK requires your equipment to be maintained regularly in order to keep it working properly. The emphasis we place on these systems to protect us should not be forgotten and the only way to know your fire safety and detection systems are working is to inspect, service and test them.
A reputable fire alarm company in the UK will offer a period of maintenance as part of a package; in fact some systems will come with maintenance and testing as standard. As with all electric and electronic systems, parts and components can degrade over time. Batteries may need replacing and dust or other debris may need to be removed from sensors and equipment. A regular maintenance schedule will provide for all these factors and keep your fire alarm system in the UK working smoothly.
If your fire alarm system in the UK is linked to an external agency, be it the fire service or private security agency, you will need to liaise with them to perform testing. This will stop unnecessary call outs which could incur a charge if it is found to be a false alarm.
Testing and maintenance inspections by your UK fire alarm company should include the replacement of any batteries as required, cleaning and calibration of sensors (optical or heat sensors), and a test of the various components to ensure their sensitivity and serviceability. This may require specialist equipment to carry out properly.
A specialist UK company may be able to provide training for certain maintenance aspects, such as monthly tests and battery replacements. But annual servicing requirements, especially in certain industries and businesses, are set out in fire regulations and must be adhered to.
FINDING A PROFESSIONAL FIRE ALARM SYSTEM COMPANY IN UK
There are many companies offering fire alarm systems and installation in the UK, but how do you know which is the most suitable for you?
When looking for fire alarm system equipment in the UK, ask friends for their experience. A good fire alarm system should be easy to understand and use, yet be comprehensive enough to cover different eventualities. Always aim for at least three different quotes and ask about guarantees and any membership or affiliations to industry organisations. You can check for a company or individuals membership with the following trade bodies.
The main industry body in the fire and security sector is the Fire Industry Association (FIA), and any company in the UK with membership of this organisation is guaranteed to offer a professional service. It is a non-profit organisation with an aim of promoting the professional status of its members in the fire safety industry. It provides training in all aspects of fire safety and active protection systems to members and has active involvement in authoring British Standards in fire safety.
Members of the UK Fire Association (UK-FA) are provided with training, guidance and support in order to guarantee their products and workmanship. UK companies affiliated with the UK-FA provide their customers with a method of mediation should things go wrong during and after any fire alarm and safety equipment is installed. It offers nationwide assistance to consumers of their products with online and telephone methods of communication possible.
UK Fire & Safety Related Tasks
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UK Fire Alarms
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