Industry News Fire safety for your facility Third Party Certification explained By Catherine Oliver, Content Executive at the Fire Industry Association

When you’re running a business, the last thing you probably want is a fire alarm going off and interrupting your day. Most of the time it is an unwanted fire alarm or false alarm – but off chance that there is an actual fire, this can be hugely devastating. So devastating, in fact, that many businesses never manage to recover from the financial loss of the fire. Even if insurance pays for the rebuild,

would you be able to afford the loss of earnings during the rebuild? Of course, there is always the argument

for insurance in this instance – but getting fire safety right in the first place will go a long way to avoiding this potential problem. Not to mention that as a business owner you have a legal responsibility to ensure that you are protecting your employees and visitors from fire, and a failure to comply with this legislation means that you could also end up with a heavy fine. Fire doors and fire safety signs make

up only part of the total fire protection a building requires. The first thing you need to know about

fire safety is that if you are an employer or business owner, then you are known by law

fire protection issues. Additionally, under fire safety legislation,

you (as the ‘responsible person’) have a duty to ensure that the people you hire are ‘competent’. You can hire people to maintain your fire alarm system, install any new fire protection (such as alarms, panels, manual call points, or fire extinguishers), or carry out a fire risk assessment (among many other services) – and you must ensure that they are competent – i.e. able to do their jobs without error. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell

who is competent enough to carry out a maintenance check on your fire alarm and who isn’t, which is why we recommend looking for service companies with Third Party Certification. Third Party Certification simply means

as the ‘responsible person’ and can be fined or even imprisoned for breaching fire safety legislation. The term ‘responsible person’ is different in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where legislation refers to the ‘duty holder’ and ‘appropriate person’ respectively – but they all mean the same thing: business owners and employers are legally accountable for any

that the company has been independently audited and awarded certification as proof of their competence. The easiest way to check is to ask the company if they are a Fire Industry Association (FIA) member. All member companies of the FIA carry Third Party Association and have been independently verified as being competent to carry out fire protection services.

Developments in Emergency Lighting 2019 By Catherine Oliver, Content Executive at the Fire Industry Association

For those who are not aware, there have been some recent updates to the standards for emergency lighting, BS 5266-1. With the current situation

there has been what is known as ‘Emergency escape lighting’, which provides indication and illumination of exit routes to enable them to be used at all times. However, there are two new

developments: safety lighting and dynamic safety signage systems. Continued monitoring of the safety of premises has identified two main areas that emergency lighting can be useful. Safety lighting provides illumination

to protect occupants who remain in a premises during a supply failure. Dynamic Safety Signage Systems help

with the input of the precise location of fire and other hazards, which enables occupants to be directed to the safest exit routes.

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the minimum light levels that are appropriate. (While a major need for emer- gency lighting is to assist occu- pants to leave the building in the case

of fire it also has a safety benefit to protect the occupants when the nor- mal lighting supply fails this includes reducing trip hazards and allowing the operation of safety critical duties).

To define these two areas further, an explanation:

Safety Lighting

Monitoring the actions of users in a supply failure very few immediately evacuate the premises most wait to see if it is a short duration break or try and do their best to carry on as normal. Safety lighting is designed to protect anyone staying in the building during a supply failure there are a number of techniques that can be used and recommendations are given in BS 5266-1 for

Dynamic Safety Signage Systems DSSS

Modern fire detection systemscan pin point the areas of a building contaminated by fire or smoke now operators of the premises can decide if occupants should be directed away from escape routes that are unsafe DSS Systems allow that information to be communicated to the occupants by conditioning the information provided by the escape route signage guidance on how this should be achieved and the pitfalls to be avoided.

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