Spotlight: Fire safety for businesses: Planning is key – Halifax.CityNews.ca

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No matter the size or nature of their business, all business owners share the responsibility of maintaining certified and up-to-code fire alarm systems.
For businesses in Halifax, monthly fire alarm system inspections are required by the ULC code and are enforced by the municipality. That monthly test targets a different single detection device each month and ensures that it activates the alarm, along with an audible alert to indicate proper functioning.
An essential component of each monthly test is to record it in a logbook which is kept on-site. That logbook serves as an accurate and readily-available record for the local authorities to review.
Can these monthly tests be performed by the business owner?
The short answer is yes.
When Wilsons Security installs a fire safety system, they offer training on how to do the testing and what is required. However, many business owners find that with myriad demands on their time, they get much more value from turning to professionals.
David Phillips, Wilsons Security, “Our technicians are experts with the panel. So, during the monthly test, they will also check the batteries, clean the panel, look at the panel condition and identify any possible maintenance issues. So, when Wilsons does it, it's not only a test to fulfill the code requirements, but it’s also a form of preventative maintenance. We can basically walk in and maybe see something in the panel that an average person wouldn't notice.”
Phillips is not exaggerating. Being thorough is more than a motto for Wilsons Security. He continues “…For an annual inspection, we test every device in the system: all inputs; all outputs; speakers; bells; strobes; whatever happens to be in the building. We also test all monitoring, function, trouble conditions and so on. It's usually coordinated to have a sprinkler test at the same time, and we work with other providers who provide that service.”
Most business owners recognize that their time is valuable and by utilizing a professional team such as the one at Wilsons Security, they can help reduce costly mistakes and preventable repairs or even worse, malfunctioning equipment.
Plus, Wilsons Security offer invaluable information with follow up reporting. Phillips, “After that inspection is done, we issue a report and on that report we list any recommendations as well as deficiencies that are found – in this case, a deficiency being something on the system that doesn't operate the way it's supposed to and needs to be corrected.”
While a fire alarm safety system is critical protection, there is another key component which is often overlooked: Fire Evacuation plans.
Many municipalities and civic websites offer up fire safety plan templates that cover fire alarm systems, sprinklers, and fire evacuation.
According to David Phillips, “We often consult on the operation of the systems and devices for fire safety plans, while clients take care of their own evacuation plans. The important thing is to have one in place as early as possible, and that they consider the type, size, and layout of their building when designing it. Every building requires a complete fire safety plan.”
If you are business owner ready to outsource fire alarm testing or are poised to incorporate a new system, discover the many options available from the experienced and highly-trained team at Wilsons Security.
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