Fire alarms

In this section

Effective fire alarm systems that protect your homes and businesses.

According to the UK Fire Service, “Every year the fire and rescue service is called to over 600,000 fires which result in over 800 deaths and over 17,000 injuries.” They also state that you are twice as likely to die in a house fire if there is no alarm fitted. Put simply, a working fire alarm being present saves lives. 

A fire alarm alerts you to the presence of smoke, excess heat and high levels of carbon monoxide in your home or business property. Although you typically think of fire alarms emitting a high-pitched sound, some also have flashing lights or connect to a vibrating panel to alert you to the problem. Specialist alarms are available for the deaf or partially sighted.

If you are installing fire alarms for a business, there are specific responsibilities and guidelines you must follow detailed in the governmental guidelines on Fire Safety in the Workplace.

What types of fire alarm are available?

A fire alarm may also be called a smoke alarm, with many types available offering various capabilities:

Heat detection

These alarms detect an increase in temperature. They are not sensitive to the presence of smoke, so they are appropriate for use in kitchens, where smoke is more common. This means it won’t go off constantly, only when there is a real risk of fire. Larger areas may need more than one of this type of alarm fitted, as they only cover a small area at a time.

Ionisation

These alarms are sensitive to small particles of smoke. They are usually quite inexpensive to buy and will alert you before smoke from fast flaming fires becomes too thick. These alarms are not best placed near a kitchen area, where smoke is more likely a regular occurrence.

Optical

An optical smoke/fire alarm can detect larger particles of smoke from slow-burning fires. These can be placed near a kitchen space where smoke is more prevalent, but can be sensitive to poorly ventilated spaces.

Multi-sensor

Combining the aspects of optical and heat detection alarms, these are usually recommended for all spaces excluding kitchens. They react faster to both fast and slow burning fires.

Combined smoke and carbon monoxide 

These are single alarm units that can detect both smoke and harmful levels of carbon monoxide in the air. 

What type of fire alarm should I use?

The Fire Service website provides the following handy guides:

  • Kitchen and Garage: Heat Alarms
  • Landings: Ionisation smoke alarms or combined optical smoke and heat alarms
  • Bedrooms, living rooms and hallway: Optical smoke alarms or combined optical smoke and heat alarms

However, a commercial property presents a different situation. Business premises may be larger than the average home and require different types of alarm for various areas.

It might be a good idea to think about your business premises in terms of zones or sections, to best work out how many fire alarms you need, and which type is required. You should choose the type of alarm most suited to the risk in each room or space.

Contact us to discuss your options

Why should you install a fire alarm?

Protect the people inside

A fire alarm can save lives. Being alerted to smoke, carbon monoxide and fire will allow you time to get out of the property safely.

Protect your belongings
The sooner you are aware of fire, the faster you can act to call the fire service. They can prevent further damage to your property and the things inside. 

Insurance benefits 

Some insurance policies rely on having a particular level of protection in place against fires and the damage they cause in order to obtain certain rates and deals. It is best to check with your insurance provider to see how much money you could save.

Currently in the UK, fire regulations state that all businesses must have appropriate fire detection on site.

Why does my business need fire alarms?

If you own a business, it is your responsibility to make sure that that your colleagues/employees are safe. This includes protecting buildings from fire. 

  • Installing a fire alarm makes the building safe for your employees and clients. By notifying everyone in the property of a fire, there can be fire safety training provided and an evacuation plan put in place.
  • Fire alarms reduce property loss: The faster the response to a fire, the quicker it can begin to be tackled. This means that the fire has less time to spread and damage the property inside the building, as well as the building itself.
  • The less damage done to your building or premises, the quicker you can get back up and running again. Fire damage can cost a lot to repair and you might even have to close your business for a short time. An alarm could make a difference to how long this is. 
  • Most insurance companies offer discounted rates on business insurance policy premiums if you have a compliant fire alarm in place. You may not be able to insure your business at all until you have a fire alarm installed. 

Fire alarm maintenance

As well as installing the correct fire alarms for your business or property, it is also your responsibility to maintain them and keep them in good working order. 

Changing the battery, regular testing of the alarm as well as keeping its sensors clean are all necessary. If your alarm is older than 10 years it is recommended that you buy an entirely new one. Most alarms will notify you of a low battery that needs changing.

Install a fire alarm with Co-op Secure Response

  • Pyronix provide fire alarms suitable for domestic property. They have been manufacturing award-winning electronic security equipment since 1986.
  • Texecom is Europe’s largest independent security alarm specialist. They manufacture fire alarms that are suitable for commercial as well as domestic property.
  • Honeywell Security provide commercial property security solutions as well as appropriate fire alarms.

All fire alarms installed are linked to the Co-op Secure Response alarm receiving centre (ARC). So, if for example your business is a petrol forecourt Co-op Secure Response could install CCTV for each pump so if a fire is triggered on pump 1, our team can look at that specific camera to see the cause and take appropriate action. 

Some of the fire alarms available are wireless, making installation a lot easier as walls and carpets are not affected, whilst being considered more aesthetically pleasing.

All Co-op Secure Response fire alarms come with a 3 year guarantee.  

Our suppliers of fire/smoke alarms also supply us with a range of intruder alarms.

Contact us to discuss fire alarm options for your business today. Or, take a look at the other security services we offer.

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