When it comes to fire control systems and equipment, it’s vital that you get it right. There are specific legal requirements you need to be aware of for your business site, office building or residential premises.
So, to help you make the right decision for your business’ fire safety systems, we’ve come up with this guide to the top four pieces of fire control equipment or systems you need to know about. Remember that some of these systems may be legally required in specific types of building, so it’s essential that you speak to a qualified professional to make sure you’re compliant with fire safety legislation.
1. Fire extinguishers
It sounds obvious, but fire extinguishers are one of the most essential aspects of the fire safety systems you’ll need to install in your building. The vast majority of buildings, such as office blocks, shops and schools, are legally required to have at least 2 Class A extinguishers per floor. The legal requirements also require you to name a Responsible Person, who will be responsible for ensuring these extinguishers are serviced yearly.
Some businesses may also need other types of fire extinguishers. We’ve written about the various different types in this article: the different types of fire extinguishers. You should ensure that trained fire safety professionals carry out a full fire safety audit on your premises, identifying the key fire risks and then installing the correct fire extinguishers to discharge your legal obligations, but more importantly, to keep your property and employees safe.
2. Dry risers
Dry riser systems are usually required in properties over 18 metres tall. A dry riser fire control system is essentially a series of pipes connecting to outlets on each floor, with an access pipe at ground level. This allows the emergency services attending a fire to connect the inlet pipe to their appliance and then pump water up, through the pipes, to the needed floor.
A dry riser system will be built within most buildings over 18m tall at point of construction, but they can sometimes be retrofitted to older buildings, for example if there’s a change in use of the building. Regular servicing of a dry riser system is essential to ensure it performs properly in the event of a fire.
3. Wet risers
A wet riser system is similar to a dry riser, but the system is kept full of water. They’re commonly seen on buildings over 50 metres tall. The value of a wet riser is that emergency services do not need to use their own appliances to provide water to the upper levels of a building.
Wet riser systems must be regularly serviced. Vandalism, theft and pipework blockages can and do occur, and these will significantly affect the fire safety of the building.
4. Sprinkler systems
There are lots of different types of fire sprinkler systems, and each operate in slightly different ways. The advantage of a sprinkler system over the other types of fire safety systems described above is that these types of systems will actively fight a fire that breaks out without human intervention.
Sprinkler systems are an important part of fire safety, and they can protect buildings and people very effectively. If you do have a fire sprinkler system installed, it will need regular testing and maintenance to both continue to operate safely and to comply with fire safety legislation.
On top of these 4 key systems, there are a couple of other aspects of fire safety you should know about it. These aren’t necessarily fire systems you’ll need to have installed, but they are things you may need to consider.
Firstly, there’s fire hydrants. These are usually installed for use by fire fighters, so you wouldn’t generally need to use them as a business or resident – however, if you have a hydrant on your premises, it does need to be annually checked and maintained by fire safety professionals. This is a legal requirement.
Similarly, you may have fire hose reels on your business premises. Again, these are generally installed to make things easier for professional fire fighters, but you’ll still need to have it serviced to ensure it’ll perform when needed.
So, there you have it. Our top four types of fire control systems that you’ll need to know about when you’re looking at fire safety for your business or building. Remember that these may be legally required, so this is something that you need to take seriously.
Looking for a fire control partner for your business? Fire Control Services can service and maintain fire extinguishers, dry or wet risers and sprinkler systems on your premises. Get in touch with us today.