Fire protection systems every workplace needs
In Australia, fires are a significant threat against households and workplaces. As such, fire protection is always essential. There are a number fire protection systems every workplace should consider implementing. Let’s take a closer look at them below.
Fire doors are another standard preventative measure that every workplace must implement. A “fire door” is a fire-rated door set. They consist of the door leaf, frame and hardware such as handles, locks, viewing panels and air grills. All of these elements are rigorously tested in accordance with the Building Code of Australia (i.e. AS1530.4) to achieve their fire rating. You can read more about this process here. Fire doors are an essential part of every building’s fire protection model and are crucial for the overall safety of the people inside. At FSE Special Pupose Doors, our fire doors are engineered for heavy-duty use and are suitable for workplaces where strict levels of security, durability and sound restriction are required.
There are three essential elements involved in the process of creating a fire: extreme heat, oxygen and fuel. Fire extinguishers are designed to remove at least one of these elements so that a fire will die out, and there are several different ways of achieving this. Fire extinguishers are sturdy metal cylinders filled with water or some other form of smothering material. When you release a lever at the top of the cylinder, the material is discharged at extremely high pressure, similar to the way material is forced out of an aerosol can. Fire extinguishers are your first resort for small blazes and may very well be the difference between manageable flames and a full-blown fire.
Another standard in workplace fire protection is smoke alarms. Smoke alarms function with a detection element that activates when it reaches a fixed temperature or an extreme increase in temperature occurs. This can save critical seconds and allowing residents to implement life-saving actions. Smoke alarms save lives and it is imperative that all buildings have working, well-maintain alarms. Types of smoke alarms include:
Heat detectors: The oldest form of fire-detection device is a heat detector. It functions with a detection element that activates when it reaches a fixed temperature or an extreme increase in temperature occurs. Aside from heat detectors, you have three options when it comes to smoke detectors: ionisation, photoelectric, or a combination of the two.
Ionisation smoke alarms: These smoke detectors are much more responsive to fast, raging fires and flames. They contain a small amount of radioactive material that passes between two electrically charged plates, which create an ionisation chamber. This configuration ionises the air and creates a current that flows between the plates. If smoke enters that space, it absorbs alpha particles and disturbs the ionisation process, which reduces the current and activates the alarm.
Photoelectric smoke alarms: These types of detectors typically respond better to smouldering fires. Photoelectric alarms work using a photoelectric sensor and a light source. As smoke enters the chamber and crosses the path of the light beam, light is scattered by the smoke particles, aiming it toward the sensor, which in turn triggers the alarm.
Fire safety training
It is always a good idea for managers of a workplace and their employees to undergo appropriate fire safety education in the form of training. With proper training, workers can eliminate fire hazards and respond quickly and efficiently if a fire breaks out. Without proper training, a small occurrence can quickly grow to become a major incident with devastating outcomes. Fire safety training can teach workers how to recognise fire hazards, conduct a fire safety risk assessment, prevent a workplace fire, and respond if a fire occurs.
At the very minimum you should ensure:
- You have adhered to regulations surrounding fire safety training
- All employees are aware of the workplace fire safety plan
- Fire safety-related signage is used
- Evacuations are regularly rehearsed