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FIRE ALARM TESTING + SERVICING

The basics

A fire alarm service is a thorough investigation of the whole fire alarm system. Its purpose is to quickly test that your fire alarm is in working order and help identify any issues. Routine testing of the system allows the occupants of a building to become familiar with the fire alarm signal.
 

Current regulations state that all business premises in the UK and Ireland have a fire detection system. This is so that in event of a fire, staff, visitors, and residents are alerted and can quickly vacate the building. If you have fire alarms on your premises, they must be tested and inspected by a ‘competent person’ to ensure that they work correctly.
 

Servicing your fire alarm keeps your fire alarm in working order and also prevents the risk of false alarms. False alarms can lose businesses time and money, especially if the fire brigade charges for a call-out. In accordance with Fire Safety Law, Fire Alarms must be inspected and tested by a competent Fire Alarm servicing organisation over a 12-month period. Maintenance visits should be no more than six months apart (requiring a minimum of 2 x visits per annum)
 

Types of fire alarm systems

There are two types of fire alarm systems, manual and automatic. Both types operate on the same principle, as heat or smoke detectors that are triggered manually or automatically.

  • A manual fire alarm installation is a series of break glass units, which are installed at each point of exit in a building. This allows those escaping a fire to raise the alarm.

  • An automatic fire alarm detects fire by monitoring environmental changes such as heat, smoke and carbon dioxide (depending on the type of fire). These changes in the environment automatically start the alarm.
     

Preventing false alarms

Most signals from automatic fire alarms are not actually fires. They test for smoke, heat and changes in the environment but that also means they pick up other elements such as steam, cigarette smoke and aerosol sprays.

False alarms are dangerous because fire crews should be at real emergencies, frequent false alarms result in staff to become complacent and is an unnecessary risk to the public.
 

How to reduce false alarms:

  • Make sure the fire alarm is the right type for the building.

  • Make sure the alarm system is properly and regularly maintained and in good working order.

  • Investigate all false alarms and take appropriate action.

  • Introduce a suitable filtering process – a means to safely investigate why the fire alarm went off. BEFORE calling for the fire brigade.

 

DID YOU KNOW?
“25% of accidental fires in non-dwellings are caused by electrical faults including faulty leads and appliances”.
Says, Department for Communities and Local Government Fire Statistics Great Britain.

  • What is PAT testing?
    Portable Appliance Testing or PAT Testing is the process of checking electrical appliances for safety through a series of visual inspections and electronic tests. Most electrical safety defects can be found by visual examination but some types of defect can only be found by testing.
  • Why do I need PAT testing?
    A PAT test is a routine inspection of some types of electrical appliance to check they are safe to use. Its purpose is to prevent electrical accidents in the workplace. A full PAT test should include both a visual inspection and a more in-depth check using specialist PAT testing equipment.
  • Who needs to do PAT testing?
    PAT testing is suitable for businesses, landlords, and homeowners who possess electrical equipment that is regularly used or moved around outdoors and indoors. PAT testing is also essential for organizations that place a high value on safety, such as schools, hospitals, and offices. By carrying out regular PAT testing, you can prevent electrical accidents, reduce the risk of damage or fire, and comply with health and safety regulations. Our aim at Lavender Electrical is to ensure that all your appliances are safe and comply with current legal standards, giving you peace of mind and saving you time and money in the long run.
  • How does PAT testing ensure the safety of electrical equipment?
    Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is the process of testing electrical equipment to ensure that it is safe for use. This involves visual inspections of the equipment and electrical tests to determine if there are any faults or potential hazards. By performing PAT testing, Lavender Electrical can identify any issues and take appropriate action to prevent electrical accidents and injuries. This ensures that customers can use their electrical equipment with confidence and reduces the risk of damage or harm caused by faulty electrical devices. Additionally, PAT testing is required under UK law for businesses that supply electrical equipment to customers or employees. At Lavender Electrical, we believe in providing trustworthy and reliable services to ensure the safety and satisfaction of our customers.
  • Do small businesses need PAT testing?
    It is up to the individual business to decide how to achieve and demonstrate their equipment is in a safe condition. However, PAT testing has been developed to cover all facets of electrical appliance safety and is therefore the ideal option to make sure your devices do not pose any dangers to their users.
  • What items don't need PAT testing?
    Battery-operated equipment and cordless equipment (for example, power tools) do not need PAT testing, as they are not powered by mains electricity. However, any battery chargers that power the equipment would need testing as these plug into the wall and charge the equipment.
  • How often do you need PAT testing?
    The frequency of PAT testing depends on the type of appliance and its usage. Generally, appliances used in commercial or public settings need to be tested more often than those used in a domestic setting. Lavender Electrical recommends that PAT testing is carried out every 12 months for commercial and public settings and every 2 years for domestic settings. However, it is essential to note that the usage and environment of the appliance can affect the frequency of testing, and it's best to consult with a professional electrician to determine more precisely how often your appliances require testing. Lavender Electrical offers a comprehensive PAT testing service, ensuring you comply with the necessary legal requirements and guaranteeing safe usage of your electrical appliances.
  • How long does it take to complete PAT testing?
    The duration of PAT testing with Lavender Electrical depends on the number of appliances that require testing and the complexity of the equipment. Small to medium-sized companies with a few electrical appliances can expect it to take between 1-2 hours whereas larger businesses with many appliances could see testing time take a full day or more. It may also take longer when our technicians find faults that require repairs before the equipment is safe to use. However, at Lavender Electrical, we understand the importance of minimal disruption to our clients' businesses, and we strive to complete our services as quickly and effectively as possible to minimize downtime. Our team of qualified and experienced technicians will work efficiently to ensure that your business remains operational while also keeping everyone safe. If you have any concerns or wish to learn more about the PAT testing process, please do not hesitate to contact us, and we will be happy to address any questions.
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