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Did you know an estimated 30% of smoke alarms in the UK are inoperable due to missing, flat or disconnected batteries? For a property to comply with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it is vitally important that all fire safety equipment is kept in perfect working order at all times. This involves checking that the fire safety equipment is accessible, well maintained and hasn’t been tampered with. There are many ways you can take care of your fire safety equipment, to ensure your property is prepared, should there ever be a fire. Equipment Assessment Checks There are two types of equipment assessment checks that should be carried out, including monthly and annually If you’re the ‘responsible person’ for commercial property, you need to ensure your building meets fire safety standards. Here are 5 tips on how to properly maintain your fire safety equipment. Both passive and active fire safety equipment must be check regularly for any signs of wear or damage. There are two types of equipment assessment checks that should be carried out, including monthly and annually. There is a range of equipment checks you must carry out, including fire doors, fire alarm test, emergency lighting and fire extinguishers. Emergency lighting should be checked monthly, with all issues kept in a logbook. Fire doors should also be checked to ensure their seals and frames are in good condition. Fire Alarm Tests All fire protection has to be checked annually including alarms, detectors, lighting, sprinklers, extinguishers and fire doors. They should be carefully inspected. Fire alarms are a legal requirement for commercial premises. To check that your Fire alarms still function correctly, it is important to get them serviced. All fire alarms should be tested, maintained and inspected by a competent person who is able to carry out any remedial work. Fire alarms are a legal requirement for commercial premises Fire extinguishers must be ready to work straight away in the event of a fire, so it is vital they are regularly checked and serviced. You should ensure they are maintained and kept in a functional condition. Every month, the pressure gauge should be tested on all fire extinguishers. Fire Risk Assessments Every year, it is required that a qualified technician carries out a thorough check on all your extinguishers for them to be fully serviced and certified. In addition to regular maintenance checks on your fire safety equipment, it is vital your commercial property has a fire risk assessment carried out every 4 years, with a renewal every 2 years. Fully trained and qualified assessors should undertake this to make sure it is done professionally Fully trained and qualified assessors should undertake this to make sure it is done professionally. By having a fire risk assessment review, it determines whether any changes could impact the ability for your equipment to properly protect your building. Fire Safety Logbook During a risk assessment, all fire doors must be checked to ensure they are in good condition and close efficiently with secure hinges. The fire seals must be fixed in position, with signs on the door present and legible. To keep an overview of all findings and actions, there should be a fire safety logbook and maintenance record that remains at your premises at all times. The logbook is used to record and review any significant findings when carrying out the fire risk assessment. This helps to keep all fire safety equipment functioning effectively and available to respond to emergency fires.
In communities of all sizes, fire crews are always in need of finding ways to improve preparedness and reduce risk. When fire departments use software systems that meet these needs, they stay safer and more informed on the scene. They also ensure that citizens stay safer during fire emergencies. Since the first organized response to a fire emergency began, firefighters have always made it a point to prevent injuries and minimize fire-related damage. However, since that time, technology has improved virtually everything about fire response, from the way crews get to the scene, to the information they have in transit about the emergency, to what they need to do upon arrival. This knowledge means fire crews no longer need to use three-ring binders full of documents to search for information. Instead, they use mobile data terminals (MDTs) and mobile fire software apps on smartphones, laptops, or tablets in their ladder trucks, fire engines, and other vehicles, which provide them with instant access to the data they need when it’s needed. Fire crews no longer need to use three-ring binders full of documents to search for information Mission Critical Data For Emergencies MDTs work directly with a computer aided dispatch (CAD) system to show first responders information about an emergency. With this technology, mission-critical data with real-time information about an emergency is available for fire crews. Having this data on hand helps keep crews safe, protect citizens, and reduce the risk of catastrophic damage to the structure involved. For example, if fire crews respond to a structure fire and dispatchers receive information while on the call that the roof collapsed before crews arrival, fire crews are made aware of this information in real time. Any information dispatchers receive about the emergency is immediately available for fire crews using an MDT. Information included in an MDT includes location of hazardous chemicals on site, knowledge of any hazardous materials on site, owner contact information, building entrance points and floorplans, and hydrant location. Any information dispatchers receive about the emergency is immediately available for fire crews Advance Planning For Fire Rescue MDTs are vital components to fire rescue. These ruggedized laptops are often mounted in a firetruck and crews communicate with one another regarding the data dispatchers share. When fire crews do not have access to an MDT, they rely upon radio transmissions, cell phones, and pagers to share information. Without a way to share this information in transit, fire crews create attack plans on the scene. This results in more time being spent planning rather than tackling the fire emergency, which could result in more damage and injuries or loss of life. For instance, fires double in size every 30 seconds. When technology can be leveraged so fire crews can create an attack plan while in transit, they reduce risk on the scene. Advanced planning helps each member of the crew know what he or she is doing on the scene based on their roles. Mobile Communication Apps Another way fire crews improve preparedness and reduce risk in a fire response is through the use of a mobile fire software application that can be used on smartphones, laptops, and tablets, and works seamlessly with MDTs.Mobile apps help bridge the gap between the communication received from dispatch to all members of a fire crew Mobile apps help bridge the gap between the communication received from dispatch to all members of a fire crew. Plus, with a mobile app that knows who’s using the device, it can automatically populate the information the user needs based on the location of the user and the user’s role. That means personalized information is delivered as it is needed, which helps crew members to begin their attack plans before arriving on the scene. Crews that use mobile apps arrive on the scene better prepared to attack the fire immediately, thereby saving time and reducing risk. Another benefit of using mobile fire apps is that they are less costly than other software solutions, which helps fire departments purchase more for crews. Many fire departments use MDTs and mobile fire apps so that crews are well-equipped with informational tools. With this opportunity to arrive more prepared on the scene, fire crews can reduce risk to themselves and those involved in the emergency. Vital information is placed into the hands of crew members no matter where they are in the rig, ladder truck, or fire engine Accessible Information For Fire Crews Both mobile fire apps and MDTs work together to harness the power of CAD and bring it directly to fire crews. Vital information is placed into the hands of crew members no matter where they are in the rig, ladder truck, or fire engine. Plus, mobile fire apps can be used by volunteer firefighters, which helps ensure they are as connected to details about the emergency as possible.Another benefit of technology in the world of firefighting is that mobile fire apps and MDTs can work together Fire crews using both have vital routing information, data regarding the structure involved, pre-plans, history, access to their own maps, and anything else that enhances contextual awareness for crews.Another benefit of technology in the world of firefighting is that mobile fire apps and MDTs can work together. While both harness the power of CAD and bring it directly to fire crews, an app is more accessible for crews in the back of the rig or ladder truck. Considerations When Purchasing Mobile Data Terminals The most important thing for fire departments to consider before purchasing an MDT or mobile app is this: Ensure that the software allows for users to take their own CAD information, so they can extend its functionality. These fire software systems should also be intuitive so that they know who is using it and what information they need. They should also be hands-free and understand spoken commands and have the capacity to take those commands and escalate to the next level. By making use of the software systems available to fire departments, crews experience a better use of their time, access relevant information for all roles, and stay safer on the scene through better preparedness and risk reduction.
NICET-certified instructors will lead these courses offering attendees the opportunity to earn valuable CEUs Fire-Lite Alarms by Honeywell recently released its 2014 training program, covering a range of subject matter from fire alarm systems basics to sophisticated applications design and programming. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be given to attendees of the more than 100 hands-on trainings planned to take place across the U.S. For those hard-pressed for time, Fire-Lite offers free online training modules, while continuing to grow its Lite-Tips library of short, technical instruction videos. As CEU-accredited fire alarm programs become harder to find, and dealer interest in emergency communication systems rises, Fire-Lite Alarms Training Supervisor, Tom Rosa, expects to see a jump in training registrations in 2014. “Given the rising interest around our training program this past year, particularly when we began covering the ECC-50/100 mass notification system, I wouldn’t be surprised if we train more people in our instructor-led classes in 2014 than in any other previous year,” said Rosa. The one-day Fire-Lite Systems courses and two-day Software Applications Courses scheduled in 2014 will take place in 62 different U.S. cities. NICET-certified instructors will lead these hands-on courses, which offer attendees the opportunity to earn valuable CEUs. For experienced fire alarm installers having attended a Fire-Lite Systems course within the past three years, a Training Certificate Renewal Program is also available to provide a convenient, time-saving means of keeping their Fire-Lite certification up-to-date. Students who successfully pass the online portion of the Training Certificate Renewal Program will receive 0.7 CEUs and become eligible to take a written final exam to earn a new training certificate, valid for three years. A series of online trainings, aimed at those with time and travel constraints, provide self-paced instruction on popular topics not covered in the instructor-led courses. As use of its online training modules continues to climb, Fire-Lite plans to expand this series in the near future. To offer visual solutions to the most popular issues covered by its own Technical Support department, Fire-Lite has produced a series of short, tech-tip videos. The Lite-Tips training videos can be easily searched on both YouTube and FireLite.com, and cover a myriad of common topics, including how to check battery voltage, align a beam detector, synchronise notification appliance circuits (NACs), and more.
The compilation of all information relative to a single product on one page appears to be one of the new site’s best features Fire-Lite Alarms by Honeywell announces the launch of an all-new FireLite.com Website, created to offer quick access to fire alarm technical documentation, training resources, and tools for system design and business support. The site’s “Social-Lite” section presents visitors with an easy means for connecting with industry gurus and Fire-Lite experts over social platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, as well as through open forum blogs. Easily searchable libraries of documentation allow site visitors to quickly locate specific files, including data sheets, engineering specifications and drawings. The compilation of all information relative to a single product on one page appears to be one of the new site’s best features, says Liz Richards, Communication Manager for Fire-Lite Alarms. “When you go to any product page on this site, it shows links for every document, listing, brochure, battery calc, and even links to compatible devices – everything connected to that product will be displayed on that page,” says Richards. “And it only takes one or two clicks to get there.” The Training section showcases Fire-Lite’s multitude of educational offerings. Highlights include course information and online registration for more than 65 hands-on courses throughout the U.S. in 2014, plus short, How-To videos illustrating answers to popular technical support questions. For customer convenience, Fire-Lite also offers a series of online training modules that are interactive and self-paced. All of the necessary software and firmware for a variety of fire alarm control panels from Fire-Lite is encapsulated under Support. However, customers are reportedly most excited about the free tools to which FireLite.com provides open access. “There are tools to create custom fire alarm specs and there are others that dealers can use to make bills of materials where you can input your own prices,” states Bill Brosig, Product Manager, Fire-Lite Alarms. “A lot of updates were made to these tools in parallel with the Website launch and I suspect we’ll see a high download rate for them.” The goal of improved customer communication is the reasoning behind the Website’s new Social-Lite area, where customers can connect with all levels of industry professionals and Fire-Lite experts through Twitter, LinkedIn and a new open forum of blogs. “Social-Lite is where we can post information we believe is important to our customers, and at the same time, they can offer suggestions and feedback,” Richards states. “We want to do a better job of getting information into their hands and at the same time, hear their views. Communication is a two-way street - that’s what this new site is all about.”