Smoke Ventilation System Maintenance
Maintenance is a crucial element of fire safety and smoke ventilation and has been outlined by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (or RRO) as a necessity for ensuring the ongoing compliance and competence of smoke ventilation systems.
While the regulations provide a minimum standard of fire safety, for many building owners it is not simply about complying with the regulations. In fact, the events of recent years have demonstrated the importance of going beyond the minimum to optimise the safety of building occupants.
By their very nature, smoke venting systems are not frequently used, and thus any accidental damage or faults with the system that impact its functionality when needed in the worst-case scenario of a fire can often be oversighted.
Should this happen, the risk to residents’ lives increases drastically. Equally, in the case of ventilation failing, occupants will inhale more dangerous smoke, toxin and gasses caused by the fire, dramatically impacting their breathing, oxygen levels and means of escape.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution. Undergoing frequent maintenance, you can ensure that your systems work effectively, providing peace of mind that your occupants will be better protected against the threat of smoke should a fire break out.
Benefits of Smoke Ventilation System Maintenance
- Increases the longevity of systems
- Ensures ongoing regulatory compliance
- Peace of mind systems work in the event of a fire
- Cost savings through identifying and rectifying issues early
- Expert teams validating that systems are working correctly
As many building owners know, the maintenance of any element of their property is vital to maximising the comfort, and even safety, of a property’s occupants whilst also preventing the need for expensive repair work to be carried out in the future.
This is especially true from a fire safety perspective.
Not only does a building’s fire safety systems work to safeguard occupants and assets, but they also allow a property to pass Building Regulations in the first place.
This is why it is vital to ensure any fire safety systems installed are also maintained and routinely serviced throughout a building’s ongoing use. This ensures they operate as efficiently as intended, in line with the property’s initial fire safety strategy, which is vital in any situation, particularly in commercial or residential premises with large-scale or complex fire and life safety systems.
From smoke detectors and alarms, which alert residents and help firefighters to locate the source of a fire, to smoke ventilation systems, which provide a safe escape route and clear access for the fire services, each system has an important role to play in a building’s overall safety. The consequences of failing to maintain a life safety system can be dire.
Smoke Ventilation System Regulation
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, companies are deemed responsible for providing the correct level of fire safety on their premises. As any fire safety system installed from part of a building’s fire strategy, the RRO calls for the appointment of a responsible person to ensure that all of this equipment is maintained and in good working order. If this isn’t carried out, it is considered an offence and can result in the prosecution of the building’s owner or manager. If a system fails during a fire there is also a potential for injury and loss of life.
Similarly, BS 7346:1-1990, BS 5588:12-2004 and The Building Regulations Approved Document B (ADB) also requires systems to be serviced regularly and maintained to a high standard, leaving no ambiguity as to whether this is mandatory.
Benefits of Routine Maintenance
Carrying out routine maintenance can also provide significant cost savings, as preventative upkeep can allow systems to run more efficiently for longer and inspections can identify issues before they can develop into costly system failures.
While some buildings may have maintenance staff that can undertake some checks, it makes sense to have an expert regularly check and maintain systems – particularly when you consider the cost of fines for non-compliance, or the potential loss of income from an office being closed by the local fire service.
Regardless of the system’s manufacturer or installer, FDS Maintenance’s team of experts will visit your premises twice a year, undertaking complete tests of the fire alarm and smoke detection systems, in order to ensure the building stays compliant with key legislation like the RRO.
Along with visual inspections, the team will also undertake a rigorous 15-point test of each component throughout the building, keeping your building complaint and keeping your occupants safe. In the event of system failure, we also offer a 24-hour emergency call-out service, and each visit, whether a callout or routine scheduled maintenance, will be thoroughly documented.
Get in touch with FDS Maintenance today to discuss how our expert teams can help ensure that your fire safety systems are functioning correctly and that in the worst-case scenario of a fire will help protect your occupants.