Everything you need to know about fire safety retrofitting
Fire safety retrofitting, or installing a fire safety system in an existing building, can ensure your building is safe for occupants and compliant with current fire safety regulations. It’s also a great way to protect your valuable property and its structure.
To help you reap the benefits, we’ve run through everything you need to know about fire safety retrofitting.
Why your fire safety system needs to be kept up to date
If your fire safety system is not regularly maintained, hasn’t been installed incorrectly or is over ten years old, it may need replacing. Here’s why:
Peace of mind and safety
Safety is the number one reason to regularly maintain your fire safety system and update it when required. Ultimately you’re responsible for the safety of building occupants and if your fire safety system is out-dated, you’re putting them at risk.
Retrofitting a new fire safety system into an existing building may help to make sure your asset is protected to the latest standards, you may not have needed one before but with changes to layouts or use of the building you might find it is now required to keep your asset and occupants safe, Retrofitting into your existing building may also have the added benefit of saving you money on your insurance premiums.
Having your existing system checked by a professional fire system maintenance company gives you peace of mind, knowing you’re doing everything you can to keep building occupants safe.
Nothing can destroy valuable buildings quite like fire. What’s more, if your fire safety protection system hasn’t been tailored to your building it may cause false or nuisance alarms when it’s triggered. Keeping your site up to date will ensure you have a fit for purpose system.
Retrofitting a fire safety system can help keep your property safe. That includes items like servers, computers and expensive electrical equipment that require a dry fire system.
Australian law requires your building to be compliant with all relevant fire codes and legislation. If non-compliant, you’re not only putting your building occupants at risk, you could be liable for fines and prosecution.
That’s why it’s worth having your fire safety system checked monthly and a larger test or annual test yearly, as well as replacing and repairing components when needed.
Signs your building needs a newly retrofitted fire safety system
Changing layout and room use
Fire safety systems should be designed to suit the exact layout of your building and the specific use of each area, so if your layout changes your fire safety system should too.
For example, if you upgrade your computer system and your office now houses more expensive equipment (such as servers) you may need to consider a dry fire system. If the positioning of people in a room changes you may consider repositioning fire alarms or extinguishers.
You may have a certificate of occupancy saying the building was compliant at time of completion but any change requires updating to the most up to date standards.
Fire safety equipment doesn’t last forever. Some components may need to be replaced every few years, most smoke and heat detectors and Fire Indicator Panels should last up to ten years.
A fire safety expert should inspect your fire safety system as required to the maintenance standards and a replacement schedule or “end of life” schedule for all your equipment should be known. This extends the life of your system and ensures ageing components are being replaced before they put you, your people and building at risk.
Changes in the fire code
Australia’s fire code rarely changes, in the event it does it’s important you review your fire safety systems. As long as a fire safety expert is checking your system in line with the required maintenance standards, generally only minor adjustments will be required and you will not need to retrofit a new fire safety system.
Are you not sure whether your building’s fire safety system is up to scratch? Does your space need a fire safety system retrofitted?
Get in touch with the experienced fire safety experts here at Fire and Wire.
We’ve got over 100 years of combined experience testing, maintaining and retrofitting commercial fire safety systems in buildings Melbourne-wide. We’d love to help keep your building safe and provide you peace of mind.