A Look Ahead At 2024: Fire Safety Risks, Compliance, And Innovation
Happy New Year, we hope you have a great 2024! The new year is always a good time to reassess and take a look at where your business is and what could be improved. When thinking about fire safety, it’s important that you make sure your building is safe, considering potential risks to your building and innovations that could help you to lower costs and increase safety.
Here’s a look at the year ahead with what you might want to consider in order to improve your business this year.
Fire Safety Hazards To Look Out For
Unfortunately, there are a number of fire hazards that are inevitable, which makes it all the more important to utilise the correct safety measures.
Combustible materials pose a serious threat to businesses and are something you should pay close attention to throughout 2024. With more combustible materials being introduced in a bid to become more sustainable – including increased use of paper, cardboard, and wood – there will be more risk from packaging and waste in 2024.
It’s unsurprising that in 2024, almost every business is home to a large number of electrical appliances, from computers and laptops to phones that need to be charged to fridges and microwaves in kitchens. Overloading sockets, leaving sockets and cables exposed to water spillages, or using faulty devices and cables presents a significant hazard and one that is responsible for 25% of commercial fires.
As with many things, human error plays a significant role in fire risk. Improper use of machinery, spillages and droppages, failing to adhere to fire safety rules and other mistakes can quickly lead to fires breaking out. It’s important that your staff all receive regular training to minimise errors around the workplace and lower your overall fire risk.
Although not a direct ‘risk of creating a fire’, false alarms do pose a threat to your business and can lead to some similar consequences as a real fire would. Minimising false alarms in 2024 will help your business to become a safer, more compliant space that also protects others by preventing wasted emergency service callouts. Usually occurring as a result of human error and faulty alarm/detection systems, it’s key that yours are up-to-date and that staff have been trained what and what not to do.
Ensuring total compliance with fire safety regulations doesn’t just protect lives and assets in an emergency, but safeguards against punishments and serious fines during inspections.
You can learn more about the main fire safety regulations to look out for here, as outlined by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Looking ahead at keeping your business compliant in 2024, there have been some recently introduced additions to watch out for. As of October 1st 2023, amendments have been made to the Building Safety Act to strengthen fire safety within regulated premises by:
- improving cooperation and coordination between Responsible Persons (RPs)
- increasing requirements in relation to the recording and sharing of fire safety information thus creating a continual record throughout a building’s lifespan
- making it easier for enforcement authorities to take action against non-compliance
- ensuring residents have access to comprehensive information about fire safety in their building
It’s important that you are familiar with these updates to the Building Safety Act, or utilise a fire safety provider who is and can guarantee your compliance in order to avoid punishment and fines.
Fire Safety Innovation
As fire safety equipment manufacturers continue to improve safety and reliability, whilst lowering costs, there are always new features and systems available. Here are some systems and features that have been released or are becoming more accessible to support your fire safety needs in 2024.
New Fire Detection Systems
Honeywell, a leading provider of fire alarm and detection equipment, have recently released their latest alarm panel series – the Morley-IAS Max. The range, made up of 3 different panels, helps to simplify fire safety for businesses whilst providing an extremely cost-effective and reliable solution.
Intelligent Features for Fire Management and False Alarm Management
One of the primary concerns of any fire alarm and detection system is reliability. Can the system detect and alert fires quickly and accurately, whilst minimising false activations?
Improved features like CAN bus technology are being used more within the latest systems to drastically improve system reliability and efficiency – helping businesses to remain safer and minimise the risks of false activations. A Controller Area Network (CAN) bus is a network technology that allows electronic devices to communicate faster and more securely, eliminating the need for expensive network nodes or controllers.
A fire alarm system that takes advantage of CAN bus technology benefits from a number things, including:
- lower costs thanks to time savings when commissioning a network and the fact that no devices are required to control the network
- faster communication speeds allowing detectors to communicate with the rest of the system rapidly during an emergency
- intelligent algorithms and Boolean logic to solve issues, detect errors, and predict potential problems before they arise
The landscape of fire safety is always changing and it’s important that your business stays up-to-date, protecting your staff, assets, and even brand reputation. As we move into 2024, take a look at your current fire alarm system to see if it’s still able to keep you safe cost-effectively.