5 things to remember when buying a fire alarm
It can be a daunting task buying any new technical system or piece of equipment. Take for instance when you’re buying a new laptop, they range from £300 to £3000 and look pretty much the same, but we know that the guy at PC World just wants to sell us the one that give him the biggest commission!
A laptop is an individual purchase that needs to be right for you, if you just need it for word processing and normal office tasks then the lower end of the price scale will do, on the other hand if you’re a graphic designer running 3D software then you need something at the high end with a lot of processing power.
Buying a fire alarm is very similar to this. Hopefully the following points will help you in your decision.
1. What does your fire risk assessment say you need, the fire risk assessment is the “go to” document for telling you whether what you have already is sufficient and, if it’s not, what category of system you need. This System Category is from the design standards for fire alarms, and gives several levels of cover ranging from an M system – the minimum needed – or an L1 system which is the belt and braces with smoke detection everywhere.
2. Choose the right installer. Accreditation is very important as you have a duty to ensure that whoever fits the alarm is competent to do so. By choosing a company that has the BAFE logo you can be confident that they are audited regularly and have properly trained members of staff.
3. Get more than one quote. If you go to the same people every time and don’t check the market then you may be paying more than you need to. Make sure that you're receiving like for like quotes and, ideally, get some feedback and read any reviews on their website etc.
Related article: How Synergy Fire Engineering saved a client from a £15,000 bill for unnecessary work
4. Decide on 'conventional' or 'addressable'. This is a technical term but in essence the conventional system gives you a general location or zone when the alarm goes off. Whereas the addressable fire alarms give you the exact location in text and tends to be more suitable for larger more complicated premises.
5. Once it’s in make sure you use it, so many times we carry out fire risk assessments and find that the fire alarm is never tested by the owners of the business. Test it the same time every week and document it.
Do you have all the information you need to buy the right system to keep you, your people and your buildings safe? Simply get in touch if you need any help or advice – [email protected] 0843 658 1310.