If you're a business owner or Responsible Person you NEED to know about Life Safety Systems! We cut through the jargon and bring you the facts...
If you're involved with a business premises or public building, you'll know you have certain legal obligations for Health and Safety. It can seem like a minefield, with heavy penalties for getting it wrong!
nothing new. The terminology has changed slightly but what it means is:
Any interior building element designed to protect and evacuate the building population in emergencies
An emergency can be anything that puts people or property at risk. Fires are the first thing we tend to think of but it can also be power failures, floods or even criminal activity.
Life safety sytems for fire include heat and smoke detectors that sound an alarm warning occupants to evacuate.
Some systems can also notify local fire services of the alert to save time.
All should be regularly tested, maintained and documented.
Fire extinguishers offer the ability to fight and suppress localised blazes.
Different types are available for the risk factors specific to your building, such as electrical and chemical.
Staff should be trained in the correct use and they should be maintained regularly.
Other common Life Safety Systems are Fire Doors. These "compartmentalise" the building. This stops or delays the spread of fire and smoke so that people can evacuate through protected exit routes.
These specialist doors need regular maintenance (which saves on the cost of replacements) and should never be chocked open, locked shut or blocked.
Emergency routes and exits should be clearly signposted with Emergency Lighting that works without mains power.
Some buildings have built-in sprinklers that activate when smoke or fire is detected. Other built in measures can be automatic shutdown of air conditioning or ventilation systems. Elevators should also stop automatically when the fire alarm is activated.
If your building is at risk of a criminal or terrorist event you could consider a lock down alarm system. This can be integrated with your fire alarm but, crucially, sounds a different warning that alerts occupants to lock doors and stay safe inside the building until the threat has passed.
Your Risk Assessments are a legal requirement and the starting point for all your Life Safety System needs. A competent assessor will know what the best equipment is for different risk areas in your particular building and for your specific activities.
Once you have all the relevant systems in place it's vital to test them, keep them maintained and document this clearly. If the worst happens you'll need to prove you fulfilled your duty as Responsible Person to avoid prosecution!
Never be tempted to print off a generic risk assessment from the internet! If you don't have the required knowledge to do this task properly then call an expert. Blake's doesn't do Risk Assessments but we can recommend someone to you. Contact us for this or any other advice you need!
We know that being a business owner or Responsible Person is a heavy burden. We've used our many years of experience to create this FREE e-book. Download it today and learn the 10 things you absolutely MUST get right to safeguard your people, sleep soundly and stay out of jail!