What are your responsibilities if your building has a fire system that are partial isolated or completely offline?

What are your responsibilities if your building has a fire system that are partial isolated or completely offline?

Some situations cannot be avoided. Local water authorities may isolate the incoming water supply for maintenance works, you may have an event that will create an environment that would cause a smoke detector to go into alarm (smoke machine), sever weather conditions may impact the operation of the fire system, a fire system may require a substantial repair, parts may be unavailable and have to be ordered in, a fire system design may not be suitable for the environment it was installed in causing nuisance alarms and requires the opinion of a fire engineer and a re-design. We understand that sometimes isolating a fire system cannot be avoided.

Where possible fire systems must always be left in a state where they will operate as designed in the event of an emergency or fire. Isolating a fire system should always be carried out by a qualified technician with the skills and knowledge of the system they are working on.

If you have an unforeseen circumstance that have resulted in a fire system been completely offline (unable to fulfil its purpose) it is important to follow the below steps.

Notify appropriate third parties and authorities such as tenants, the fire brigade and insurers of any fire protection system impairments. It is important to notify the fire brigade as property is more vulnerable to fire loss when a fire system or a portion of a system is out of order or offline. It is important to keep everyone updated.

Signage may need to be placed around the building instructing patrons to phone 000 in the event of a fire.

Ensure that key staff, security and/or fire wardens (covering all shifts) are alerted, and that procedures are in place to raise the alarm and activate suppression systems, should a fire be observed.

Every effort should be made to avoid hot work when fire systems are isolated. If any cutting, welding, or other hot work is necessary then we strongly recommend that formal hot work management procedures are in place.

Ensure all fire systems are left isolated or offline for the shortest time possible. This may include completing works outside of business hours to minimise delaying the reinstatement of the fire system, this is especially important if the building has occupants who sleep there overnight.

Should you require advice on your fire systems or what to do if a system is offline, get in touch with us today.