fire and security equipment

When it comes to both fire safety and security, it’s incumbent on employers, building owners, landlords and occupiers of business premises to manage all of the associated hazards and risks. One important element of meeting those obligations is by installing all necessary fire and security equipment to address the risks that have been identified.

But simply having the equipment in place isn’t enough. You must make sure that it continues to operate effectively on an ongoing basis by maintaining it properly. That will involve carrying out regular visual checks on the equipment. But it’s also vital that all equipment and systems are fully serviced in accordance with their respective maintenance schedules – and here are six reasons why:

1. It protects your people and your business

If you do not meet your legal obligations as far as fire safety is concerned, and are not fulfilling your overall duty of care in keeping people safe and secure, you are risking the wellbeing of your employees and/or other building occupants. If there was an incident, and it transpired you hadn’t maintained essential equipment properly, you could be putting your whole business at risk. Failing to comply with fire safety legislation can result in refusal from insurers to pay out if there was a fire. Depending on the severity of the level of negligence, there could even be the potential for criminal proceedings.

2. It identifies any problems that are not immediately evident

Wear and tear and corrosion as equipment ages can all lead to damage that could impair equipment effectiveness. Accidental misuse could cause damage too and unfortunately there is also a risk that equipment could have been deliberately tampered with. And not all damage will be immediately evident via a visual check. A more thorough inspection carried out as part of the service will ensure any issues that could compromise the equipment’s performance are identified and corrected.

3. Regular servicing can make the equipment last longer

Servicing can help improve the overall longevity of your fire and security equipment. It should include operational component checks which in most instances can only be done by a qualified person dismantling the equipment to check it thoroughly. This means that minor issues can be identified and fixed, rather than running the risk of greater damage happening to the unit further down the line.

4. Well maintained equipment responds efficiently and quickly

Equipment that is well maintained will perform at its optimum. In the case of equipment like fire detectors and intruder alarms, that will ensure they respond rapidly, allowing the maximum amount of time for people to react to the situation. Conversely, it will also help reduce the number of false alarms too - if parts of a fire detection system aren’t working correctly, that will lead to an increased likelihood of it being triggered incorrectly.

5. It ensures the equipment is still right for the environment and current risks

The individual carrying out the servicing won’t only be checking the equipment itself. They will also be highlighting any issues that mean it is no longer suitable for the environment it is in. Buildings can be repurposed. Office space can be shifted around. Different risks can be introduced into the area over time. There are many reasons why fire and security equipment and systems that were originally suitable for meeting a risk no longer fully address that specific hazard, and need adjusting as a result. While this is something that should be risk assessed at the time of making those changes, it’s very easy to overlook, particularly if the changes have been small and gradual.

6. It tells your employees and/or other building users that their safety is a priority

By ensuring that the servicing and maintenance of equipment that exists to protect people and their possessions is taking place, it clearly demonstrates that you take their safety and security seriously. That sense of reassurance is essential, offering peace of mind that their welfare and wellbeing are priorities.

Protecting people and property

Fire safety and security system and equipment servicing is very easy to put off for a whole host of reasons – often connected to time or cost – but the simple fact is that if you don’t have it done, you are increasing the chances that they could let you down at the very point you need them to work. The consequences of that could be at best disruptive and at worst devastating.

Always make sure that whoever you use to carry out your servicing is fully competent and appropriately qualified to inspect the equipment in question. If you would like to know more about our accredited fire and security services, please get in touch with us for more information about how we can help.