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Why you should upgrade your fire alarm

Fires are a persistent danger. Every year, they claim valuables, property and even lives. One of the reasons for the extensive damage is that fires start small, but can quickly get out of hand. Even fires that are put out promptly can cause smoke damage, often rendering a property uninhabitable—sometimes indefinitely. That’s why it’s so vital to have a properly installed, high quality fire alarm fitted in your home or business. At the very least, it gives people a chance to evacuate while there’s still time. At best, it might just prevent a fire from causing thousands of pounds worth of damage. In this post, we discuss the benefits of upgrading your fire alarm system.

Preventing fatality

Of the 261 fire-related fatalities in 2016-17, over a third (77) occurred in dwellings without smoke detectors or fire alarms. According to current government figures, around 11 percent of homes in the UK aren’t fitted with smoke alarms. To put these numbers in perspective, it means that forgoing a detector essentially triples your chances of dying as a result of a fire. Fire alarms give people the time to get out before a fire spreads to block the exits. The reason fire causes fatality is less because of the flames, more due to smoke inhalation.

A large number of people still use battery-powered smoke alarms. However, these have a much higher “failure rate” than their mains-powered counterparts. In fact, 39 percent of battery-powered smoke alarms failed during fires in 2016-17. This is almost double the failure rate of mains-powered alarms.

If you are still relying on battery-powered alarms for your home or business, it makes far more sense to upgrade to a mains-powered model. In many cases, businesses are actually required to have a certain level of fire detection equipment.

Business demands

Commercial and industrial premises need to be fitted with a fire detection system. Although mandated by law, the legislation can be a little confusing and various factors need to be considered. It’s best to have a Fire Prevention Officer take a look, as they can advise you on what system your business needs to have in place. Fire detection systems also need to be reviewed and tested twice a year by a professional to ensure compliance and good working order.

As part of the review of your premises, you will also have to produce a Fire Risk Assessment to determine where dangers might occur and what your response will be. Depending on your business, it may be that certain areas of your premises are more likely ignition points than others.

Obsolete systems

It may be that your existing system is too old to be brought into compliance with modern legislation. Components may have worn out, and are no longer in production. It may be something as simple as the fact that none of your current employees can operate an old-fashioned system—including you. There are also structural factors to consider.

Not all businesses operate out of a purpose-built premises. In fact, many are based in old businesses originally designed for something else. In this case, it may be that a full overhaul of the fire alarm system is necessary.

If you’re interested in finding out more about quality fire alarm systems, take a look around our site – or get in touch with a member of our team today.

Even in the safest, most peaceful residential areas, break-ins can be a problem. As well as investing in a comprehensive, integrated security system, homeowners should always follow best practices when it comes to securing their properties. In this post, we take a look at the small changes you can make to better prevent break-ins.

Don’t telegraph your movements

One of the quickest ways to attract intruders and burglars is to advertise the fact that you’re not home. People commit this sin in a variety of ways. It is a bad idea to repeatedly post about the holiday you’re about to go on, or the fact that you’re going to be away next weekend. Even if your privacy settings are configured properly—and many of us fail to do so—you can never be 100% sure who is reading your posts.

If you are planning on being away from home for a week or two, let a trusted neighbour know so that they can keep an eye on things while you’re gone. They don’t have to maintain constant vigilance, but they can take steps like parking their car in your driveway or mowing the lawn (if it’s spring or summer). An unkempt lawn or garden is a signal to thieves that a property might be empty.

Prepare your property

It’s obviously impossible for you to be in your home at all times. However, going out doesn’t have to mean leaving your home vulnerable. Think about your property and how an intruder might gain entry. If you have a tree next to your home, consider pruning its branches away so it can’t be used to facilitate a break-in attempt.

Always lock away hardware like garden equipment—studies have shown criminals regularly use items already on-site to help them break into a property. On a similar note, make sure the locks on your windows and doors are actually locked. It’s a waste to install a strong set of windows and then forget to turn the key.

Timers are a good investment for anyone, regardless of holidays. A thief can ‘case’ a property well in advance and gain an insight into the inhabitants’ movements. By setting your lights on a timer you can create the illusion that someone is home. This is also true of outdoor lights, if you haven’t already acquired some motion-activated security lighting. Most burglars have no interest in being confronted by a homeowner and will be deterred by a well-lit, active property.

Invest in a deterrent

According to the latest government statistics, burglary is at historic lows, in part thanks to the wider adoption of home security systems. Visible signs of a security system in place act as an effective deterrent to would-be intruders, particularly technology like CCTV cameras and intruder alarm boxes. High-quality security gates and motion sensors have also helped to bring the number of break-ins down, but this all comes with an important caveat. In essence, if you install a security system you need to be diligent in using it.