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23/02/2015 / Graham Lowe

Maintaining Fire Safety Efficiency

As we discussed in our last blog, the supply chain behind fire safety and emergency lighting technology plays a major role in optimising equipment performance. But that isn’t the whole story. It’s also crucial to carry out regular and comprehensive maintenance of every system installed in the building to uphold the safety and well-being of building users.

Despite the importance of maintenance, a recent study we carried out found that up to a quarter of European businesses are not regularly checking and looking after their fire safety and emergency lighting equipment.

Our survey of equipment installers across the continent also found that some 34 per cent of installers’ customers do not accurately monitor equipment performance in a logbook, and another third don’t have up-to-date fire detection records.

Such figures are highly concerning – potentially thousands of businesses across Europe are failing to carry out proper maintenance of their fire safety systems. This can result in false alarms, which cause significant business disruption to building users and divert fire and rescue services from attending genuine emergencies. According to Government statistics, the UK’s fire and rescue services attended nearly a quarter of a million false alarms over the last two years, caused by faulty fire safety systems. More seriously though, this lack of maintenance efficiency is risking the safety and well-being of employees and building occupants.

Taking care of fire safety and emergency lighting systems is a key requirement of legislation, such as the UK’s Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Under these regulations, all businesses have to regularly maintain their fire safety equipment and record performance information in a logbook or similar document.

There are solutions available to simplify maintenance for organisations and facilities managers to make complying with legislation as easy as possible. For example, there are self-testing systems that carry out regular checks on themselves so facilities managers don’t have to complete time-consuming manual tests. At the moment though, too few organisations are taking advantage of these and other technological advances, and the efficiency benefits that they offer.

To support businesses in working out how much they can improve the efficiency of their maintenance processes for their existing security equipment, we have developed a new Efficiency Calculator. This handy online tool is designed to quiz the user on the performance status of their building’s current fire safety and emergency lighting systems, to offer expert guidance on methods of improving it.

Making use of tools like this can help organisations and facilities managers really understand how their fire safety technology is performing, and enable them to determine what changes can be made to optimise efficiency. In doing so, they can ensure they comply with legislation and protect the safety and well-being of their building’s occupants.

If you would like to find out more about the work we do at Hochiki Europe to support businesses in optimising the efficiency of their fire safety and emergency lighting equipment, visit our web site at www.hochikieurope.com. You can also contact Hochiki Europe on 0044 (0)1634 266 566, or email e-marketing@hochikieurope.com.

To view the infographic image full size, please click here.

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