We may never take notice of it until we need it, but Fire & Life Safety equipment is all around us in the buildings that we live, work and visit every day.
Fire & Life Safety equipment which includes amongst others, fire detection devices such as Smoke/Heat detectors, signalling equipment such as Break Glass Units, Sounders and Beacons, Fire Suppression Systems, Emergency Lighting, Fire Extinguishers, Hose Reels etc are ultimately designed to protect lives. When such equipment is interfered with, losses can go well beyond replacement costs, downtime and penalties.
Public area’s and premises that experience large footfall’s of traffic such as Hotels, Airports, Shopping Centres, Community Halls, Cinema’s and Theatre’s, Schools and in more recent years Apartment Complexes which feature shared communal area’s and involve a high degree of interdependence are at a greater risk of experiencing vandalism or accidental damage to the Fire & Life Safety Equipment.
Here at Guardian we have compiled our Six Top Tips to reduce this risk:
1. Know What Equipment you have on your premises and location of same
2. Appoint a “Responsible Person” to carry out regular visual checks on all Fire & Life Safety Equipment. This can be a Staff Member or in the case of Apartments, preferably a live in Caretaker.
3. Consider your existing Security measures. If you have CCTV, let customers/tenants know that these systems are in place.
4. Protect what Protects You. Consider fitting protective cages or covers over devices and equipment such as Smoke/Heat Detectors, Break Glass Units, Panels, Sounders, Fire Extinguishers etc these are an ideal cost effective means of deterring malicious or accidental damage without interfering with their legitimate use.
5. Know How to operate Fire Alarm & Life Safety Equipment. Ensure all staff has received instruction on the correct use of your Fire Alarm Control Panel and all Life Safety equipment so as to avoid accidental damage. Ensure instructions for Fire Alarm are located beside Fire Alarm panel together with contact numbers for your Service Provider and/or Management Company in the case of apartments.
6. Report any damage/suspicious activity immediately.
Author: Brendan Stamp Tech IEI, IS3218:2009 and 291:2001 Qualified
Managing Director, Guardian Fire & Security