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Fire Alarms In The Workplace: What Business Owners Need To Know‍

Oct 27, 2022

Fire safety is an essential component of maintaining workplace health and safety regulations across all industries. Regardless of whether your company primarily works out of a warehouse, office space, or conducts business operations across multiple locations, business owners have an obligation to invest in fire alarms in the workplace, both in order to support the safety of their workforce, and to make sure that their company stays compliant with Australian workplace health and safety standards, and is not at risk of receiving penalisations, sanctions, or other legal repercussions. 

Fire Alarms in the Workplace: A Guide

In order to maintain compliance with WHS standards and any industry safety regulations, business owners are required to schedule both fire alarm installations alongside investing in additional fire systems and equipment for their workplaces. Today, our fire safety specialists here at Alexon will be providing in-depth information surrounding the installation and maintenance of fire alarms and other basic fire equipment in Australian workplaces. Read on to learn more about your obligations as a business owner when it comes to fire safety in the workplace. 

Today we will cover the following when it comes to fire alarms in the workplace:

  1. Installation checklist
  2. Maintaining your smoke alarms
  3. Other fire equipment required
fire alarms in the worklace

1. Installation checklist for fire alarms

Although setting up fire alarms in your workplace must be conducted by installation specialists, it’s still valuable for business owners to develop a good understanding of what they can expect from the installation process. With this in mind, our fire safety specialists have provided a basic sample installation checklist used to conduct the installation of hardwired fire alarms in the workplace:

  • Access building switchboard in order to turn off electricity
  • Access ceiling space in outlined installation locations
  • Use joints and beams for support when accessing ceiling space
  • Conduct isolation, lockout, and tag out procedures
  • Conduct risk assessment prior to alarm installation
  • Assess building insulation to be certain that no conductive materials are present, or that conductive materials are not energised
  • Assess building materials in ceiling space for signs of asbestos
  • Install bracket for fire alarm
  • Install fire alarm
  • Turn on electricity at the switchboard
  • Test fire alarm
  • Issue certificate for installation completion and testing

If your fire alarm will be connected up to additional fire safety equipment like a sprinkler  system, then ensure that your fire safety specialists test connections between these fixtures, alongside providing maintenance timelines for both systems. Workplace smoke and fire alarms should also never be covered or disconnected. If you suspect that any of your fire alarms are experiencing faults due to excessive or unprompted beeping, consult with your fire safety electricians and organise for the alarms to be assessed and serviced or replaced, if need be.

2. Maintaining your smoke alarms after workplace installation

Your smoke alarms should be tested annually in accordance with Australian standards for fire safety to ensure that they stay in good working order and are prepared in the event of fire in the workplace. Like your initial fire alarm installation, fire alarm testing should be carried out by fire safety specialists and experienced fire alarm and smoke detector inspectors. Your fire safety specialists should test your smoke alarms and other workplace fire equipment in accordance with the Australian Standards AS 1851-2012.

Heat or smoke-activated sprinkler systems should also be maintained and serviced alongside standalone smoke or fire alarms. Business owners should ensure that the fire safety specialists or electricians they enlist to conduct the maintenance of these dynamic approach systems have experience working with and servicing these particular system configurations. 

Failure to maintain your workplace fire alarms and other fire systems may result in penalties and other legal repercussions due to breaches of workplace health and safety regulations alongside potential building code violations for commercial building owners and managers. 

fire alarms in the workplace

3. Other fire equipment required for WHS

Fire alarms or smoke detectors are truly just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to investing in fire safety. As per WorkSafe Victoria’s Compliance Code for workplace amenities and the work environment, all Victorian workplaces are expected to be fitted with the following fire safety resources and equipment:

  • Fully functional and portable fire extinguishers and/or fire blankets
  • Smoke hazard management (i.e. ventilation or air filtration systems)
  • Emergency and exit lighting
  • Fire warning signs and signs highlighting the locations of fire equipment 
  • Signage outlining workplace emergency procedures

If you’re working in an industrial environment, you may also benefit from installing a fire hose reel and other fire safety infrastructure to be used by firefighters if needed. Emergency contact information for local fire authorities, your local hospital, and other relevant services should also be displayed throughout your workplace, including in employee break areas, and in all other areas where emergency procedures have been displayed. 

Our Fire Safety Summary

Our fire safety specialists at Alexon have been providing exceptional installation, maintenance, and system maintenance reporting services across a range of both commercial and industrial settings. With over 20 years of diverse experience, our fire safety specialists are well-versed in the installation, servicing, and maintenance of an array of fire safety systems and equipment. 

When you call on Alexon, you can be rest assured that our fire safety specialists are equipped with all the necessary tools, equipment, and industry information to ensure that your workplace fire alarms, extinguishers, fire blankets, and all other fire safety equipment and installed systems are kept in good working order and are ready for anything, whether it be your workplace’s next fire drill or a genuine fire emergency. 

Want to book a fire alarm installation or system maintenance appointment for your workplace? Contact the team at Alexon in order to book your installation and servicing request now. 

alexon for your workplace

See Also: Fire Safety Plans For Inner City Buildings

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