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How to choose the right fire safety systems for your business

15th December 2015 Print

A fire, whether big or small, can cause significant damage to a business, so it’s important to identify workplace hazards through a risk assessment before investing in fire safety equipment from the likes of Security Direct. Choosing the right fire safety systems will also ensure you’re well-prepared for a fire-related emergency, so here’s how to go about it:

1. Think about your fire protection goals

In order to safeguard your business in the right way, you must first think about and set a range of fire protection goals as these will help you invest in the right safety systems. Examples of fundamental fire protection goals include: minimising fire-related injuries and reducing undue loss of life; minimising fire-related damage to the building, its contents and its historical features and attributes (if applicable); minimising undue loss of operations due to irreparable fire damage and limiting the environmental impact of a fire. Once you know what you are trying to achieve you will be able to find fire safety systems to suit your needs.

2. Think about how to prevent fire

Before spending thousands on fire-protection technology you should also think about how to prevent a fire from occurring in the first place as prevention is always better than cure. There are many things you can do to reduce the risks of an ignition such as carrying out a regular fire safety risk assessment and finding solutions to all hazards, keeping sources of ignition and flammable substances apart, having all electrical equipment checked over once a year by a qualified electrician, storing dangerous chemicals away in non-flammable storage units and providing adequate training for all staff – especially if they are working with flammable products on a daily basis.

3. Choose the right fire protection technology

According to the Chief Fire Officers Association, 60 per cent of private businesses affected by fire never recover, which is why it’s crucial to take fire protection seriously. That said, with so many different fire safety products on the market these days it can be difficult to know what will really benefit your company and what will be a waste of money. 

So, before digging into your pocket, ask yourself the following questions: How big do you want the fire to be before it is detected? How big do you want the fire to be before you start to suppress it? How much damage will you be happy for the suppression agent to cause? How much smoke spread do you want before the fire is extinguished? 

While some of these questions might seems a little strange – after all, every fire should be put out as quickly as possible – it’s important to remember that all fire safety systems do different things and you might not want an alarm to go off every time a colleague burns a bit of toast. Similarly, while alarms might sound at the first whiff of smoke, it might not be necessary for sprinklers to turn on straight away or for water mist to be activated unless there are obvious indications that the fire is out of control.

Fire safety is an important part of any business, so take the time to assess the fire needs of your company before researching the fire protection systems that could benefit your organisation.