In a fire emergency, a few seconds could save lives.  All businesses should be aware of their fire risks and take appropriate steps to prevent fires, but also take steps to properly alert personnel if a fire event occurs.

Facility owners and managers should evaluate their need for fire alarm systems. These are important devices to keep personnel and property safe.

A fire detection system is designed to sense smoke, excessive heat or fire and provide an alert for a particular area of the building. The type of fire alarm system needed depends on the age of the building and the layout of the structure.

The Australian Development Act of 1993 specifies that commercial and residential rental properties must have smoke alarms installed in their locations. The smoke alarms must adhere to the Australian Standard AS 3786 which outlines the minimum criteria needed to properly detect and alert in the event of a fire.

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Placement of your fire alarm systems can vary depending on the type of alarm used and the layout of your building. Typical smoke alarms need to be installed in a centralized area of a passageway.  Smoke alarms should also be installed in the head of stairways on the top storey. Multi-storey structures should have a smoke alarm installed on each level. The alarm should be placed at a safe distance from lights – 100cm from fluorescent lighting and 30cm from other lights that could cause false alarms. Likewise the fire alarm systems should be placed away from ceiling fans or air conditioning vents because the cooler air and flow could prevent proper detection of fire, heat or smoke.

Proper installation of fire alarm systems is important so that the detectors will operate properly and the audible and lighted alerts can easily alert occupants. Experienced fire safety providers can help to evaluate your facility and determine how best to install the fire alarm systems as well as what types would work best.  Not only should the fire alarm systems be installed and working properly, but you should also train the occupants of the facility to make sure they understand how critical the alarms are in an emergency.

Have a fire emergency plan in place with persons who are well trained in executing the plan if needed – review this plan often to make sure everyone is clear on the procedures.

Do not ignore the alarms – make sure everyone takes action as soon as an alert is sounded.

Seconds matter – every moment that is delayed can result in possible injury, property damage, or loss of life.  There should be no hesitation when an alarm is activated.

To be sure your personnel and your facility is fully protected from fire emergencies, consult with a trained fire safety expert to determine the types of fire detection systems you need and how best to implement your fire emergency plan.

Fire Safe Services specialises in fire safety equipment, inspections, and fire risk assessments. Fire Safe Services can actually help you to minimise the risk of fire at your home and recommend the right equipment.

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