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Why You Should Upgrade Your Fire Alarm System

In the UK, current legislation dictates that it is mandatory for all residential, commercial and industrial properties to have a fire alarm system in place. The correct maintenance of these must also be followed to ensure the safety of all personnel within a building.

Does your fire alarm system meet all the necessary requirements in compliance with British Standards? Read on to discover why it may be time for your fire alarm system to be replaced or upgraded.


Outdated System?


If your fire and smoke alarm system is over ten years old, then it is considered outdated and you should definitely consider upgrading or replacing your system.

Whilst they will still work, the operating system in fire and smoke alarms begin to lose its quality; as a result, they can become more or less sensitive - neither of which are ideal. 

If their sensitivity becomes too high, then they are more likely to set off false alarms. As well as being an annoyance, this can cause a lack of urgency and concern should the alarm go off in a real life-threatening situation.

If their sensitivity becomes too low, it may cause a delay in the detection of a fire, which puts people at an increased risk and reduces the time they have to take the correct evacuation and response procedures.

They may also require more frequent maintenance if you are trying to keep an old system up-to-date with newer technology and components. This may sound like an effective solution, but the reality is that this excessive maintenance is less cost-effective for your business compared to buying a newer system, which will be more reliable anyway.

Upgrading your system to a newer specification ensures that your fire protection adheres to current safety requirements, offering peace of mind that you and your workers will be safe thanks to dependable fire and smoke detection.


Passing Tests?


In order to comply with British Standards, fire alarms must be tested weekly and serviced every six months, though more frequent testing and servicing is always advisable if you have a larger system. Routine inspection is essential to discover any potential faults in your system that would otherwise go undetected.

There is a set procedure that is often followed when testing alarm systems. This is as follows:

  1. Inform all staff that a test is being/will be carried out.

  2. Make sure the alarm control panel is connected to an alarm receiving centre (ARC) - they will put your system into ‘test’ mode.

  3. Check you have the manual key point to hand - this will be needed to reset the system post-test.

  4. Activate a manual call point and wait for the alarm sounds. When the alarm goes off, use your key to reset the manual call point.

  5. Check the alarm control panel to confirm that the location of the manual call point is correct before silencing the alarms.

  6. Record the test results in your fire test logbook.

  7. Contact ARC to confirm they received your alarm signal.

  8. Reset the alarm control panel and take it out of test mode.

When was the last time you had your alarm systems checked? If your fire alarm does not respond to testing, then it is your legal obligation to have the issues with your system identified and repaired to a working standard.


Smoke and Fire Alarm Installations


EK Fire Protection is an experienced fire safety business based in Kent. We offer an extensive range of fire alarm systems designed to keep your employees and business safe; our qualified engineers will carry out your fire and smoke alarm installations or upgrades to the British Standard.

Do you need a new system, replacement and/or upgrades to your existing system? Keep your business protected and contact us today to find out more about what we offer.


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