Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Fire Alarm Maintenance is your business!

Whether you are a business owner or a landlord it is not enough to just have a fire alarm fitted, it is your duty to make sure your fire alarm system is being maintained correctly to ensure that it works as well as can be should a fire occur.

Is it the Law that I maintain my fire alarm?

Yes, The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order which came into effect in October 2005 and applies to many factors of your fire safety requirements. It is the primary legislation for all non-domestic premises in England and Wales, including the common parts of blocks of flats and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). Failure to comply with the FSO (Fire Safety Order) is an offence punishable by hefty fines or imprisonment.

More detailed advice and guidance on the Fire Safety Order can be found at the Department for Communities and Local Government website.

Does the fire safety law apply to me?

The law applies to you if you are:

• responsible for business premises
• an employer or self-employed with business premises
• responsible for a part of a dwelling where that part is solely used for business purposes
• a charity or voluntary organisation
• a contractor with a degree of control over any premises
• providing accommodation for paying guests

What are the duties of the Responsible Person in my Company?

The 'Responsible Person' for your premises has a duty under the Fire Safety Order to ensure that any fire alarm systems are managed efficiently and maintained in good working order by a competent person. It is important that a specialist contractor is used in the form of the ‘competent person’ as they will have fully trained and qualified engineers who will comply to British Standards, service and maintain your fire alarm, update your logbook and provide you with relevant certification for your records.

In addition to your chosen contractor carrying out your maintenance the responsible person is required to undertake periodic checks to ensure the functionality of their fire alarm system on a weekly basis. This involves checking that the control panel is on, the status is normal and that no faults are being indicated and if there is a problem contacting your chosen contractor to get the problems rectified ASAP.

How often should my fire alarm be tested?

The Fire alarm system inspection frequencies required by BS5839 are weekly, quarterly and annually. If your fire alarm system is not kept in good working order it could lead to your local fire brigade serving an enforcement notice.

How do I know if my business is complying?

If you are not sure if your business is complying with BS Standards and the FSO then your chosen contractor should be able to give you advice and provide relevant in-house training for you as well as carry out the relevant fire alarm maintenance you require.

Do you need a competent person?

If you are looking for a London based company to carry out your fire alarm maintenance then Fulcher Edwards Ltd will be happy to provide you with all the advice you need, a free quotation and most importantly make sure you comply with British standards and stay FSO compliant.