Fire Alarm Regulations in the Workplace
As the year progresses and some of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions begin to lift, many businesses might be preparing for life back in the office.
Of course, some industries, such as manufacturing and construction, have been unable to work from home and have had to carry on throughout the pandemic – but whatever the case maybe, now is a great time to think about fire safety.
As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure everyone on your premises is safe. This includes complying with the relevant fire safety regulations.
This includes having a fire risk assessment in place, appropriate fire extinguishers and clearly visible fire safety signs- including signs showing where fire exits are located.
But does this include fire alarms?
This article will outline everything you need to know about fire alarm regulations and how you can implement them in your workplace.
Does my workplace need a fire alarm by law?
You may be surprised to learn that current fire alarm regulations in the UK do not insist upon commercial properties having fire alarms installed.
However, the fire regulations do state that businesses must have an ‘appropriate fire detection system’ in place. In small premises or office space with less than five members of staff, simply shouting or alerting employees to a fire may be sufficient, but if you operate in a larger property or with greater numbers of staff, then this detection system may take the form of a fire alarm.
There are a number of different fire alarm systems that you can install, including manual and automatic options.
Whichever you decide to implement, there are a number of factors that need to be put in place. These include:
- All staff members must be able to hear the alarm
- Every exit in the building should have an alarm call point
- Your fire alarm must be in good, working order at all times
- The alarm must be regularly tested both by you, or a member of your staff, and by a professional
It is also important to install emergency lighting and to provide staff members with fire safety training.
How often should a fire alarm be tested?
As previously mentioned, fire alarm regulations state that alarms must be tested regularly.
There are established fire alarm testing regulations that need to be adhered to. Frequent testing is extremely important, if alarms are not regularly checked and a fire does break out, then it could have serious consequences.
According to the British Standard, as a minimum, you should be testing your own fire alarm systems at least once a week, with the government recommending bi-yearly check-ups by a reliable contractor.
If a problem or fault is identified during the course of this fire alarm maintenance , then it is essential you address it immediately. Remember, you’re responsible for the lives of your employees when they’re on your premises.
When it comes to determining a trustworthy contractor to carry out these services, you should be looking for an individual or organisation who carries the BAFE (British Approvals of Fire Equipment) certification.
Here at A.T. Alarms, our team is not only BAFE accredited but is also NSI approved, meaning you’ll know you’re in the very best hands when acquiring our expert services.
As well as installing and maintaining fire alarm systems, we also provide a whole host of other home and business security services that can help keep you and your property safe. For more information on what we can offer you, contact us today.