When faced with the dangerous but unfortunately common threat of fire, many will turn to their fire protection system for aid. However, to rely on a fire protection system, we must ensure that it has undergone appropriate maintenance for it to work as intended.
Fire alarm systems nowadays are more comprehensive and complicated than the ones they replace. As a result, more attention is needed towards the systems’ inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM). Proper ITM procedures can directly impact the performance and dependability of fire systems.
Thus, planning and executing regular maintenance on your fire system and equipment can prevent unfortunate issues in the long run. Read on to learn about why an effective maintenance plan is crucial and what to keep in mind while maintaining fire protection systems.
Importance of Fire Protection System Maintenance
We spend most of our time indoors, be it for education, work, or leisure purposes. Thus, it is only natural to keep those spaces safe by installing all the necessary safeguards, but what about their after-installation care?
It is also important to prioritise the maintenance of our fire protection systems to ensure they are always ready to act. While it may seem like a daunting aspect of fire suppression, having a fully functional sprinkler system, for example, will help shield you from damage costs.
The following is a list of the typical faults with common fire safety equipment and their implications to demonstrate the importance of fire equipment maintenance.
1. Fire Alarms
Their function — Fire alarms are warning systems that signal the whole building in case of a fire. By informing people in advance, everyone can safely evacuate to a specified location and await the fire department’s arrival.
Common faults — Alarm systems typically have faults involving power failures, which require a system reset. However, ground faults may also render a system inoperable by cutting power to specific circuits. Plus, if your property sustains water damage, the penetrated water in the circuits might damage your system.
Why service them? — Most systems come with a control panel to indicate when a problem has occurred. Nonetheless, you may not realise there is a lost circuit in the system, or the system may not detect a certain fault. An expert will be able to test the system thoroughly to reveal any hidden issues that may have developed, which is important for a building with multiple alarm points.
Their function — When a sprinkler system detects the heat of a fire, individual sprinkler heads will activate, but not simultaneously. The system will release water into the area to extinguish the fire and dampen the surrounding area, preventing it from spreading.
Common faults — Many factors can affect the performance of a sprinkler system, especially if it has been inactive for years. Pressure, rust, frozen water, and bursting pipes are some of the most common factors in sprinkler system faults.
Why service them? — Inspecting a sprinkler system will reveal issues and components that may need replacement. A regular system check also ensures that it will activate when it is needed the most.
Their function — Many people are not aware of the different types of fire extinguishers, such as those for flammable liquids, electrical fires, and solids fires. You can use these to mitigate a small fire and prevent its spread.
Common faults — Fire extinguishers often sit idle for years, making them susceptible to rusting and deterioration. Additionally, most are not aware when an extinguisher has been tampered with or has its contents discharged, which renders it ineffective when someone genuinely needs it.
Why service them? — Repairing and maintaining all fire extinguishers on your property can assure the safety of your employees, guests, and assets. To ensure a professional engineer has inspected fire extinguishers, an authorised Competent Person should maintain them.
A fire extinguisher Competent Person in Malaysia is someone trained and certified to use a fire extinguisher to properly put out a fire. They are also responsible for regularly inspecting the fire extinguisher to ensure it is properly maintained and ready for use.
It is vital that businesses and organisations in Malaysia have a designated fire extinguisher Competent Person on staff to prevent and control fires.
4. Fire Door
Their function — Fire doors are specifically designed to contain fire during a breakout. This allows people to escape the premise while keeping fire damage to a minimum.
Common faults — Several things can go wrong with a fire door. Some of the most common issues with fire doors are missing seals, incorrectly installed hinges and a jammed door.
Why service them? — You should ensure your fire doors are in good working order to protect door openings in walls and smoke barriers. Plus, fire door inspection only takes a few minutes. You can rest assured after the inspection, knowing they’ll function correctly should the worst case happen.
Palcon: Your Trusted Fire Suppression Solutions Provider
Now that we have established the importance of a fire protection system and its maintenance, the next step is to consider what sort of maintenance is necessary. This includes maintaining passive and active fire protection systems, like fire extinguishers.
Palcon has been a trusted provider in the fire safety services industry for over four decades in Malaysia. We provide not only maintenance but also a wide array of fire safety products and solutions to fit any setting.