Maintenance Today Makes For a Low Risk Tomorrow
Added on August 19th, 2019
By Bijan Fard
Specifying and installing the correct fire safety systems is an essential aspect of building design and construction, but it is only the beginning of a long-term strategy. Once building works are complete, a stringent and ongoing maintenance programme must be established to ensure the systems will perform as designed in the event of a fire.
When budgets are under pressure, it can be tempting to postpone or cancel regular maintenance and servicing, especially where systems are not used daily; however, this can prove costly. If fire safety systems are not adequately maintained, the risk to life and the building itself are among the most serious consequences. As well as putting lives at risk, failure to comply with Building Regulations can result in enforcement action, building closure, fines and potential prosecution of the building owner.
The nature of fire suppression and smoke ventilation systems means that they are very rarely activated and as such it can be difficult to assess the condition. Components can be inadvertently damaged by the activities of on-site teams, building occupiers or other subcontractors. Seemingly minor anomalies, such as paint accidentally splashed onto a sensor, can affect a system’s operation and overall efficiency.
Furthermore, regular system checks can assist building owners in effectively managing budgets with the aim of reducing expenditure over time. Planned preventative maintenance (PPM) will flag any developing issues and identify any parts which may need replacing immediately or before the next service. This, in turn, reduces the need for costly reactive work.
The systems should be thoroughly checked and serviced twice a year without exception. The FDS team will carry out visual inspections followed by a 12-point check of every fire safety component to ensure that performance is to the standard of the original specification, as well as full legislative compliance. In the event of a failure, FDS provides a 24-hour emergency call-out service. All call-outs, repairs and routine inspections are documented for future reference and peace of mind.
Ensuring these vital systems are maintained regularly and fully operational will save lives and protect the building in the event of a fire as well as provide peace of mind that legislative requirements are met.
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