Risk Mitigation: A Strong Fire Life Safety Technology to Protect Lives & Assets
Risk mitigation is more than just smoke alarms. To ensure your building and employees/guests/visitors are fully protected you need a combination of education, occupant awareness, and a functional alarm system.
A solid risk mitigation strategy requires involvement, planning, prevention, and detection and suppression. And, depending on the age of your fire and life safety systems, it may be time to upgrade your devices. Recent advancements in technology have dramatically improved alarms, sensors — even the inspection process.
If you are unsure about the age of your systems, or the readiness of your risk mitigation plan, consult a fire and life safety company in your area. An experienced vendor will be able to assess your current systems and help you set up a strong risk mitigation plan that safeguards your facilities and occupants.
Elements of a successful risk mitigation plan
Novice building chiefs may fail to recognize the importance of an in-depth risk mitigation plan. However, the scope and range of your plan can mean the difference between life and death. Do your employees know what to do in case of an emergency? Are they familiar with the building’s safety equipment and protocols?
Below are the core elements of a successful risk mitigation plan:
- Involvement — It is crucial that you have voluntary involvement from your workforce. In fact, you should task a safety committee within your workspace to spearhead initiatives within their respective teams. Your newly formed safety committee can then educate other building occupants of hazardous situations or other fire/life safety issues they encounter.
- Planning — Monthly fire drills —they disrupt the workday and your employees already know what to do in case of an emergency, right? Wrong. Monthly fire drills must be a mandatory part of your company. Evacuation protocols should be second nature for your workforce. Your system managers should also voluntarily test their fire alarm systems each month. Have them select a different device each time to help them gain hands on experience and build familiarity with the different types of initiating devices — smoke detectors, pull stations, etc. Also, you must make sure that the central station is aware of alarm testing/fire drills and is notified when your system is back “online”.
- Prevention — Many fires and emergencies are caused by accidents. Someone knocks over a space heater, stores hazardous chemicals in the wrong container, etc. Make it a point to educate your buildings occupants about the proper use of area heaters, chemical, storage, etc.
- Detection and suppression — Make sure your systems are up to date and in compliance with the current National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes and regulations. Hire a fire and life safety vendor to perform routine testing and maintenance to ensure your risk mitigation plan is up to code.
Risk mitigation is a significant part of your business. If you do not have a detailed and effective risk mitigation plan in place, you are jeopardizing the lives of your employees as well as your assets.
Technology that has improved risk mitigation
Risk mitigation technology has come a long way from the whistles, bells, and steam pumps used in the 1800s. Today, LED lights, smart sensors, and web-based reporting represent the cutting edge of fire and life safety tech.
Generally, your systems should be replaced no later than the 20-year mark. However, regardless of age if a sensor, detector, etc., is malfunctioning, replacement or repairs are needed.
Notable tech upgrades that can improve risk mitigation, include:
- Building reports — Web-based reporting tool BuildingReports dramatically improves the inspection/maintenance process of your fire and life safety systems. After analyzing your fire and life safety systems, your vendor will provide you with a report regarding repair/replacement of your systems. BuildingReports expedites the maintenance process thus lowering the risk of a system not functioning during an event.
- Permit history — Nowadays, the permit history for a property is public view in most municipalities. Valuable information can be gleaned from these documents to assist in identifying problem areas and to assist in evaluating the life expectancy of your systems.
- Edwards’ SIGA-OSD detector — Edwards’ Signature Optica detectors have the ability to differentiate between particles like dust, cooking smoke, or steam, and serious hazards, reacting only when a threat is identified.
- Edwards’ LED notification devices — LED technology is fully backward compatible with existing Genesis™ notification appliances and has less power requirements. Edwards LED notification devices alert building occupants of an event while saving money on additional equipment.
These are only a few of the most impactful technological improvements to the fire and life safety field. For more information about upgrading your systems, consult with a reputable vendor .
How to improve risk mitigation at your facilities
Now that you’ve determined that your company’s risk mitigation plan needs work, your next step is to have a fire and life safety vendor come out and review your current plan/systems.
Be ready to answer the following questions:
- What is the occupancy rating of the building?
- Has the occupancy changed since the fire alarm was designed?
- Does the building meet or exceed the requirements by the currently adopted fire alarm code?
- Does the project have a realistic budget?
An experienced fire and life safety vendor will provide a complete fire alarm design and service/maintenance agreement, along with a testing plan that ensures your systems operate until their designated lifespan.
Performance Systems Integration: Experts in risk mitigation
As a proud distributor of Edwards fire prevention technology in the Pacific Northwest, Performance Systems Integration (PSI) provides superior fire and life safety services to schools, property management, hotels, hospitals, and other businesses.
Our NICET-certified technicians are trained to operate and install the latest risk mitigation technology including Edwards Signature Optica™ Detectors and Genesis™ LED Notification Devices.
We focus on helping you create a comprehensive plan that combines occupant education and awareness with bleeding edge fire prevention technology.
For more information about risk mitigation, or to schedule a free life safety and code compliance analysis in the Pacific Northwest, call our Oregon/SW Washington Office at (503) 641-2222, or our Washington State Office at (425) 947-1149, or contact us online.