Why Are Some Fire Alarms Connected to the Fire Brigade?

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The risk of fire is perhaps the biggest threat to the safety of a commercial property. Putting both your premises and employees at risk, it’s vital to mitigate this risk as much as possible.

Unsurprisingly, fire alarms provide the first line of defence when it comes to fire, alerting everyone in the building of the presence of a fire and triggering the evacuation process.

Typically, when a fire alarm has been triggered and everyone’s evacuated, this is the point when someone would alert the fire brigade.

However, there is another way. While you should always contact the fire brigade yourself, if you implement an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) at your premises, then the fire brigade will be automatically informed as soon as your fire alarm goes off.

Fire engine outside shop

 

What is an Alarm Receiving Centre?

There is a common misconception about what an ARC actually does if you have it in place at your property. Some people think that it means that as soon as a fire alarm goes off, the fire service will be immediately on its way.

In fact, an ARC acts as a third party between you and the fire brigade who can assess the situation and contact the fire service if necessary. This means that if a fire has occurred, the fire brigade will be on its way faster than if you, or a member of your staff, rang in the incident.

With this in mind, it’s important to provide your ARC with as much information about your operations as possible. This should include:

  • Names and contact numbers of key staff members
  • Contact details of any key holding service, individual or organisation who can inspect your premises
  • Key information regarding your business’ operations, including opening hours, procedures, layout and details on personnel
  • What you want the ARC to do if they receive a fire signal

The more information you provide to the ARC, the more protection your organisation will receive.

Many housing complexes, such as apartment blocks, operate on a Grade C fire alarm system, meaning they are linked to a monitored control system. If an alarm is triggered, disarmed or broken, the building’s safety manager will be instantly alerted and can take the relevant measures.

 

Do I need a fire alarm?

It’s a legal requirement for all commercial organisations to have an ‘appropriate fire detection system’ in place, but this does not have to be a fire alarm. If you work in a small, open-plan environment where it would be impossible to not notice a fire had occurred and where there are no high-risk activities or vulnerable people on site, then you may not necessarily require an alarm system.

However, if any of the above requirements do not apply to you, then you will be legally required to have fire alarms installed. At Pyrotec Fire Protection, we’d always advise that you have them in place, even in small properties, for extra safety.

 

What kind of fire alarm do I need?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to fire alarms. There is a wide range of options out there. From manual systems that need a button to be pressed or a lever pulled to trigger them, to automatic options that detect smoke, it can be difficult to know what’s appropriate for you.

The type of fire alarm system you need will depend on a number of factors including:

  • The type of premises you have
  • Items stored within your premises
  • The type of work you conduct
  • Any potential fire hazards

To best determine what fire alarm systems are most suitable for you, a full and thorough risk assessment should be carried out, a service we offer here at Pyrotec Fire Protection.

Supporting commercial clients across Brighton, Eastbourne, Crawley and the surrounding areas, the team here at Pyrotec Fire Protection offers a whole host of fire alarm services. Providing a comprehensive offering, we’re there every step of the way from installation to maintenance, so you can rest assured that your property has received the very best level of protection. To find out more about what we do, get in touch today.

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