Obviously, it’s critical to have a fire detection and warning system in place so staff know when to evacuate as soon as possible in case of emergency.
The exact requirements depend on the type of building and the type of work undertaken in the premises.
And it's the Responsible Person’s role to get this sorted - with the possibility of fines, job loss and jail sentences if the system is not up to scratch.
To help the Responsible Person make the right choices, here are three of the most common ways your fire detection and warning system could be substandard. And make sure you read to the end for advice on how to fix issues.
Do you remember when your system was installed? Do you even remember who did it? And if they were qualified?
There's a common misconception that all you need is a competent electrician in order to install complex fire detection systems. Yet, an electrician is just an electrician, if they don't have the relevant accreditation in Fire Safety, they're not fit to install your fire alarm system...
Think about it this way, we all know that a gardener uses shears to trim excess growth from the rhododendron bushes in the garden.
If something grows too much, chop chop and it's shorter.
But, strangely, we also know not to use a gardener as a hairdresser, or there'd be a lot of people walking around looking like a trimmed privet hedge, missing chunks of ear...
Would you blame the gardener?
Maybe, but you'd be more likely to point the finger at the fool that thought it was a good idea in the first place.
Likewise, if your business burned down and the fault was in the Fire Alarm System, the finger will be pointed at the Responsible Person. That's because, ultimately, it's your responsibility to ensure the fire detection and warning system are up to the job and comply with legislation.
Quick fix: Make sure you choose an accredited installer, so you can prove you've done everything in your power to ensure the installed system is adequate for your needs.
Regular testing should never be overlooked. If you forget just that once and the Fire Alarm System fails then you could be left in some seriously hot water.
Quick Fix: Keep to a regular testing routine.
Maintaining your Fire Safety Systems is as important as getting them installed in the first place.
Forgetting maintenance is setting yourself up for accepting responsibility when your system goes wrong.
Quick Fix: Schedule regular maintenance visits for your system and record them appropriately in your log book.
Not just anyone can maintain your system though...
The best thing you can do to fulfill on your duty of care as the Responsible Person is to use an accredited Fire Security company. Doing so will ensure your fire detection warning system is fit for purpose and compliant with all legislation.
Like Blake Fire & Security Systems, companies with the BAFE and NSI Gold fire security accreditations will be up to date with the latest British Standards and can help to ensure you get the installation, testing and maintenance plan you need.
It could save your job or even the possibility of a prison sentence!
For more tips on your role as the Responsible Person, download our free guide, just click below!