Why Are Smoke Alarms So Important?

Why Are Smoke Alarms So Important?

Smoke alarms are the first line of defence should a fire break out within a commercial setting – such as shops, offices or gyms – as they provide an early warning of smoke in the property. This gives occupants more time to evacuate the building and can significantly increase the rate of survival. 

As a crucial part of fire safety equipment in commercial settings, smoke alarms must be properly installed and maintained to ensure they stay fully functional until the time comes for a replacement. Read on to find out more about why smoke alarms are so important.

Importance of proper smoke alarm installation

According to BS 5839 regulations, fire alarm systems are a legal requirement for all commercial premises, and smoke alarms play an integral role in this. Employers have a duty of care to protect the health and well-being of their staff, which extends to fire safety. 

Choosing the right smoke alarm and having it installed in the prime location is imperative for a compliant and effective fire safety procedure. All fire alarm installations must adhere to the relevant fire safety regulations with input from a professional for optimum performance.

Location of smoke alarms in a property

Establishing the exact placement of smoke alarms is dependent on the layout of the property in question, so it’s strongly recommended that you seek the help of an expert to advise on this. A professional team, such as Astra Security, can complete a detailed survey to assess what changes are required to improve fire safety at the property. 

When choosing the location of smoke alarms, it’s important to prioritise areas where the probability of a fire is highest, particularly where electrical devices are used or left plugged in. Another consideration is the different needs of those inside the property – for example, if someone has mobility issues that might delay their ability to exit the property. With wireless fire alarms, you don’t need to be concerned about any unsightly cables!

Smoke alarm maintenance tips

According to BS 5839 guidelines, commercial fire alarm systems must undergo maintenance by a qualified professional at least every six months. It’s worth noting that for larger properties or complex systems, a more regular maintenance schedule is recommended – an experienced fire alarm technician can advise on this.

How often should you check a smoke alarm?

In between scheduled smoke alarm maintenance, a fire alarm system in a commercial setting should be tested by a dedicated competent person once a week to ensure it is working correctly and there are no major failings with the system. If the alarm doesn’t sound or it has started making an unfamiliar noise, you must seek professional assistance immediately.

When should a smoke alarm be replaced?

Smoke alarm maintenance and testing will keep your system in full working order so you can rest assured knowing that it is operating correctly. Most commercial smoke alarm systems are designed to last approximately 10 years – any systems exceeding this time period are more likely to malfunction. It’s time to look into getting a smoke alarm replaced every 10 years. An experienced fire alarm technician can advise on the most suitable system for your application, ensuring it is fitted safely in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.

For fire alarm services, including installation and maintenance, in Maidstone, Medway, Tonbridge or the surrounding areas, get in touch with Astra Security for a free site survey and no-obligation quote.

Don’t delay – contact us today. 

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