Smart fire safety equipment in buildings for reduced risk and simplified compliance
The smart revolution is set to touch almost every element of the built environment – and fire safety equipment in buildings is no exception. By collecting and reporting on your building’s fire safety equipment, business owners and building managers are given powerful tools to reduce risk, achieve evidenced compliance, and streamline how you go about it. The days of time-consuming and manual checks are over with accurate, real-time data insights.
The smarter way to meet fire safety building regulations
Former legislation required a building fire safety certificate to show that all fire safety standards were met within the workplace. The Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order (and local fire safety legislation across the UK) is the currently applicable legislation. It requires that responsible persons carry out a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment in order to identify any fire precautions that should be in place.
Broadly speaking, responsibilities include:
- Ensuring the fire risk assessment is conducted and updated regularly. From the risk assessment, you need to implement fire safety measures that remove or reduce risk to life and wellbeing. This includes identifying potential ignition sources, flammable materials, and at-risk individuals
- Inform staff of the fire risks identified within a building
- Have an emergency fire plan
- Ensure staff have the skills and knowledge they need to uphold fire safety
Enforcement of the compliance measures above will involve the following:
- Clearly marked, adequate escape routes that are clear from obstruction and floors in good condition
- Emergency doors: Fire escapes that open easily and automatic fire doors that close properly
- Emergency lighting: This needs to be tested regularly and any faults need to be recorded
- A fire detection system that is suited to the building and its use. This needs to be tested regularly and any faults need to be recorded
- Fire fighting equipment that’s suited to your business; that’s properly installed, regularly tested, and well-maintained
- Correctly placed fire exit signs
These checks are traditionally labour intensive and run the risk of human error. Smart fire devices – such as those from Smarter Technologies Group, is paving the way for accurate, automated compliance. Using a system of sensors, pressure pads, tags, and gateways, real-time data and alerts are sent to cloud-based, remotely accessible dashboards. This is done using Orion, The Real-Time Data Network™. This means data around undesirable changes, equipment that has been moved or tampered with, maintenance cycles, as well as any and all factors that contribute to fire safety can be constantly monitored and reported on.
This empowers high-level compliance on the ground and administratively. It also makes room for systems of checks and maintenance that involve automated processes. This removes the time and resource cost of manual checks and improves accuracy. It also allows for instant reactions to circumstances that present a fire risk.
Simple steps to simplify fire safety requirements for high rise buildings and multi-site operations
When building and business ecosystems extend to multiple floors and multi-site operations, so the complexity of fire safety compliance grows. Fire safety at the land use planning stage (including change of use applications) includes the requirement of a fire statement for residential high-rise buildings that meet certain criteria. This is in response to the 2017 Grenville Tower fire. This needs to be conducted separately from building fire safety conditions as above.
In high-rise buildings and multi-location operations, smart fire safety devices make for whole estate management, reporting data insights in real time onto a single platform. This means business owners and building managers get an accurate overview of fire safety across entire buildings – even remotely located – with safety enhanced through specificity.
Reduced reliance on manpower and improved accuracy
At the heart of the allure of automated compliance processes is accuracy. This greatly reduces the risk associated with manual checks for meeting compliance requirements – and ensuring the safety of buildings and their occupants.
Additionally, fire safety is but a single component of broader smart building compliance. The simple, scalable solutions from Smarter Technologies Group have building-wide application. They boast innovative designs that are customisable to each building’s blueprint and every business’s needs – covering everything from automated Legionella compliance and workplace health and safety. By providing a detailed view on full-building operations, everything from sustainability and compliance to performance and efficiencies have the potential to be optimised through smart technologies.
Assessing fire risk and optimised firefighting
Effective monitoring is the cornerstone of effective management – and fire safety is no exception. The utilisation of smart fire safety equipment in buildings present effective tools to know the places in buildings that present the greatest fire risk. In turn, this gives building managers and business owners an opportunity to make informed decisions to minimise risk.
If a fire breaks out, information on the source and exact path of a fire is critical in curbing the spread of fire in a building. This has the potential to save lives, prevent injuries, save valuable time, and reduce asset losses. Automated sprinklers and extinguisher systems work in tandem with firefighting personnel and can be programmed to react to smoke and high temperatures for remote firefighting tactics that remove the risk to personnel.
Simplified fire equipment maintenance and smooth building management
With Smarter Technologies, you can automatically and remotely manage your whole estate with real-time monitoring of the condition of your fire safety assets. Our real-time smart sensor technology will let you know immediately if a unit has been moved, if its weight has changed, or if it has been tampered with and our smart sensors receive real-time smoke and fire alerts via the internet.
When it comes to maintenance, you don’t get smarter than IoT smart technologies. Our solutions provide real-time alerts around a range of metrics (including battery life, for example) and maintain comprehensive, cloud-based records for compliance purposes.
When it comes to the risks of fire, it’s advisable to take a proactive approach, protecting your site and your assets. With our smart compliance solutions, you can remotely monitor your business from anywhere, giving you one less thing to worry about.