The Benefits of Installing An Intruder Alarm System

It’s a sad fact that your home or business could be at risk of break-ins. Even if you live in a statistically safe area, you probably worry about leaving your property, especially for long periods of time. Security alarm systems can help to alleviate this worry, as well as providing real protection for the important things in your property.

Here are five great reasons to install an Intruder alarm system in your home or place of work.

Protect what you love and value

The average home has a lot of valuable items inside. These days there is plenty of stuff worth taking, including mobile phones, televisions, games consoles, stereos, cinema-systems, jewellery and expensive clothes. On top of this, car thieves often break into people’s homes in order to steal their keys and then take their vehicle.

Businesses can hold valuable stock, lots of specialised equipment, and employee possessions. On top of this, your premises could contain sensitive customer information. A break-in, even if no personal data is taken, may cause concerns among your clients.

Cheaper insurance

The more protected your items, the less likely they are to be stolen. Thieves are looking for the easiest time – they aren’t going to bother with a well-protected home or business premises. Just the sight of burglar alarms can be enough to deter an otherwise interested intruder.

This means that installing an intruder alarm system in your property can lower your insurance premiums. Your saving will depend upon your particular provider, but you could see a significant reduction in the cost of your premiums.

Higher home value when selling

Intruder alarms keep your home safe, and contribute to a safer neighbourhood. These are both desirable qualities for a house, which is reflected in the price you can ask for it. If you are thinking about selling you home, or are simply open to the possibility in the future, a security alarm system is a good way to boost the value of your property.

Leave your property for long periods without worrying

Most people go on holiday to get away from their home or work life. There’s no point ‘leaving’ your mind at home or in the workplace and spending the whole time you are away worrying about what might happen. An intruder alarm system keeps everything covered, deterring thieves even in your absence. That way, you can relax and enjoy your holiday, safe in the knowledge your building and valuables will be exactly as you left them.

Remotely monitor your home

More advanced systems come equipped with cameras so that you can check what’s happening in your home. This is particularly useful if you are worried about what your teenagers might get up to when they are away, or have pets you want to keep tabs on. Some security systems include remote locking, so you can ensure that windows and doors are always locked.

Keep the things you care about protected. View our range of security systems or contact us for more information.

The Importance of Fire Safety Training

Knowing how to act in the event of a fire is an important skill for your employees to have. The actions of any one person are likely to impact others around them. Fire safety training is about making sure everyone knows what to do in an emergency. Not only is it a smart choice, it is also the law.

Here’s what you need to know about basic fire safety training.

What do my employees need to know about fire safety?

Fire safety training should cover everything from preventing fires and following correct procedure, to how to stay safe and escape in the event of a blaze. Obviously, the best scenario is for your employees to never experience a fire, and this starts with being aware of fire prevention. Educating staff regarding best practices keeps your premises, your business, and everyone inside it safe.

You should have an emergency plan in place to cover what needs to happen in the event of a fire. A training programme can cover how to respond in the event of fire alarms, and where the safety assembly point is. Employees should know not only where they are meant to go, but the safest routes they can take. Make sure everyone knows how to operate exit devices, such as fire doors.

It is beneficial to give people a basic knowledge of operating fire extinguishers and other ways of preventing a blaze from spreading further. Part of the fire safety training will include identifying when it is safe to attempt to tackle flames rather than evacuating. You may wish to select specific employees to receive advanced training on fire-fighting, as well as other emergency tasks such as shutting down dangerous equipment and ensuring everyone has left the premises.

When do I need to train my employees?

Fire safety training is something that should be continuous in order to keep everyone up to date and safe. Existing staff should be given regular refresher courses so that they don’t forget the information. New members of staff should also be trained. This includes people who have been transferred from another building or site – you don’t want anyone in your business to be without this training.

When something changes that affects the fire safety risks in your building, you need to train your staff to keep them up to date. There could be increased risks, you may change your assembly point or emergency plans, or get new fire-fighting equipment. If something happens in your business that leaves people open to making mistakes due to ignorance, you need to refresh and update their knowledge.

Keep your business safe with fire safety training

Fire safety training helps to protect your business. It ensures everyone knows how to act safely, reducing the risk of injury or loss of life in the event of a blaze. Basic fire-fighting techniques can also help to prevent small fires from becoming big emergencies.

Fire can have serious consequences for your business. Click here to learn more about our fire safety training or contact us today.

Do I Need Fire Extinguishers?

Many business owners are unclear on the regulations that cover fire safety with regards to their premises. They aren’t sure what kind of fire precautions are needed and where they should be placed. The laws regarding fire safety were changed a few years ago.

Rather than simply telling business owners what fire extinguishers were needed and where, the new regulations are based around whether or not there is a risk of fire.

Your business should have a Responsible Person, who is in charge of carrying out risk assessments on your premises. The new legislation leaves it up to this Responsible Person to determine what fire risks are present and to ensure the correct safety measures are installed.

The Responsible Person may also have to nominate Competent Persons, who are trained to understand the hazards and risks involved.

Is there a risk of fire?

The important thing to remember is that the current regulations are based upon whether or not there is a risk of fire. By law your Responsible Person is required to carry out assessments to determine the level of risk. You do not need fire safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers, in an area where there is no risk of fire.

For instance, your employee break room is highly likely to have some risk of fire. It probably contains several electrical appliances, as well as soft furnishings. Items that can start a fire, as well as things that are easily flammable, all contribute to the risk. In areas such as these, you will need fire safety equipment, like fire extinguishers.

In contrast, a communal stairwell is unlikely to need safety equipment. These are usually constructed to be escape routes in the event of a fire, so they are often made from non-flammable, or fire resistant, materials. Even if they have carpets or floor tiles, there are unlikely to be any sources of fire risk. By the time the carpet in your stairwells catches fire the building will be well past the stage where a fire extinguisher could solve the problem.

The Surest Way to be Safe is to Get in Touch

Because the laws regarding fire safety depend upon the risk in your particular premises, it is impossible for us to give you a definitive answer here as to whether or not you are legally required to have fire extinguishers. It is likely that some areas of your premises will require them, while others will not.

We can visit your premises in order to tell you exactly what fire extinguishers you need. Keep your premises, its occupants, and your assets protected. Get in touch today to book your free site survey.

What are the benefits of CCTV cameras?

CCTV cameras are one of the most common types of security measures. They are used everywhere from retail stores and public transport to private property and family homes. If you don’t have security cameras you could be leaving yourself vulnerable.

Here are some of the benefits of security cameras.

Deter Thieves

CCTV systems are highly visible, making them an excellent deterrent for criminals. The mere sight of CCTV cameras or home security cameras will usually be enough to keep thieves at bay. They are interested in targeting homes and businesses that won’t present a challenge. Any kind of surveillance makes it far too risky for them.

Prosecute Offenders

Should you be unlucky enough to be the victim of a crime, your security cameras can help ensure the perpetrator is brought to justice. Modern security cameras provide excellent video quality, giving the authorities the best possible chance of identifying the culprits based upon your footage. It is very comforting to know that those responsible have been found and punished for their actions.

Protect Yourself From False Insurance Claims

We are sure you’re aware of today’s compensation culture. We are encouraged to try and make a claim for almost anything, and there are those who will go out of their way to defraud businesses with entirely false litigation. CCTV cameras provide you with irrefutable proof of what is going on inside or outside your home or business. If someone has made a false claim, your CCTV systems will be able to prove that they are lying.

Monitor and Protect Your Staff

You want your staff to feel safe and comfortable while at work. This includes protecting them from abuse and assault. People can think twice about letting their anger boil over if they know they are on camera. And should the worst happen, and a member of your staff is abused or attacked, you will have video evidence which you can provide to the police.

Unfortunately it is not unknown for staff to try and take advantage of their employer. They may try to take money or equipment from your premises. With the right surveillance on your business you can keep an eye on everyone.

Help You Feel Safe

Whether you are a business or a homeowner, having CCTV cameras gives you greater peace of mind. You’ll feel much more secure knowing that criminals will stay away, and that you will have evidence to protect you in the event of a problem.

If you want to protect the people and the places that you care about, CCTV systems are the right choice for you. Get in touch with us today for more information.

A Guide to Fire Alarm Systems

If you’re thinking of having a fire alarm system installed in your property, it requires a good deal of thought before you commission someone to install it. You need to make sure the people installing it are competent, and that they have the required credentials that say they are properly qualified to handle a fire alarm system.

Making Sure Fire Alarm Systems are Installed Correctly

In this post we’re going to go through some basics, so you have all the information you need to get your fire alarm system installed properly.

Commercial Fire Alarm System Installation

You can’t get just anyone to install your fire alarm system, it must be someone qualified, trained and competent enough to do it. This is a complex job and requires a good understanding of what is required. If you get it wrong, then it could cost lives as well as building damage and significant financial loss.

Your fire alarm system must comply with two important British Standards. The first one is BS5839. The second one is the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations BS7671. Whoever it is that’s in charge with hiring someone in to install it is responsible for making sure the contractors meet these standards. The installation engineer must make sure that the alarm system he/she installs is fitted by following the designs.

Fire Alarm Systems Design

Whoever is fitting your fire alarms must be qualified and must have received training in fire alarm design. If the fire alarm system isn’t designed properly, then there’s the very real possibility that the system won’t comply with the British Standards we’ve mentioned above. Without proper training lives are at risk, so choose carefully.

As well as fire alarm system installation and design, another important factor in fitting your alarm system is making sure that you have someone commissioned to check it’s safe and complies with the British Standard.

The Commissioner

The person who does this will be commissioned to check the design specifications and drawings and to make sure the fire alarm system complies with BS5839. He/She will then test all devices, the sounders and detectors. The goal is to make sure that all aspects of the installation is in full working condition.

Its bad news if the commissioner finds problems and errors, and if this is the case, he will give you a list of what needs to be done to rectify the problem before he carries out another test. As a result, on this occasion, you will not receive a certificate.

Fire Alarm Maintenance

As you can imagine, your fire alarm system will need regular checks and maintenance. Whoever does this must be competent enough to carry out the job. It should be maintained in accordance with BS5839-1 or 6. You should also make sure it’s maintained every 6 months. If your building is a high risk area, it might be necessary to do this more often. Keep in mind that anyone who carries out maintenance on your fire alarm system must have fire alarm maintenance training that is recognised by an official body.

Planet Fire – Talk to Us About Your Fire Alarm Systems

Now you have the bare essentials, you’ll need to choose your type of fire alarm, make sure you speak to people who are competently trained and qualified before you do anything. If you have any queries or questions you need answers to, then get in touch with us here at Planet Fire, we’ll be happy to help.

Why Do You Need an Access Control System?

Here at Planet Fire, we believe that an access control system should provide safe and secure access for your employees and all authorized individuals. Just as importantly, they can keep unauthorized people out.

What Does an Access Control System Consist of?

An access control system can consist of something relatively simple such as an electronic keypad on a door to large networked systems for more than one building. One of the good things about access control system is that you don’t need to worry about keys, lost ones or hunting for the master set. More importantly you won’t have to worry about those who’ve left your organisation and still have an old set of keys, and who may, potentially have access to unauthorized areas.

What Size Access Control System Do You Need?

How many doors do you need to secure? This is a prime consideration when deciding on the size of access control system. Depending on what’s behind the door, you may not need access control, so decide which areas are the most sensitive and which ones you feel need security the most. Carrying out an audit will provide you with some useful information so you can allocate a budget for what you need.

After you’ve decided on which doors need access control, you will then need to consider the type of doors you have. How they are physically made may determine whether they are suitable for access control systems.

Also, consider the following:

  • Who will be accessing these particular rooms, will it be employees only, or will some customers have access?

  • What are your doors made of – steel, wood, aluminium or glass

  • Do you need to secure garage doors or gates to a parking lot

You may need a large installation if you’re securing more than one building. If this is the case then the access control systems would be operated over a network and that way you’d be able to manage security from one place, a central point.

There are different types of access control systems:

Free Exit – this will detect a person approaching and unlock the door, or it may come with a bar or button that will allow people to leave.

Controlled Exit – With this system, anyone entering needs to enter code or use a card to get into a building and also to get out. As you can imagine, this does provide better security.

What will you be using your door access control system for?

We know that an access control system is designed to keep unwanted people out. The entrance to a highly sensitive area could be anything from a simple front door, the server/CCTV room, a medical records room or any room where sensitive information is held.

You may want to track when your employees enter and exit the building. Make sure you know exactly what you want to use an access control system for and that way you can make some wise choices.

As we’ve already seen a simple keypad or a card are the simplest forms of access control. If you want to create a more sophisticated access control system, you could add a thumbprint and a card as a form of identification. Finally, if you want to add a CCTV or/and an alarm system then this may give you added security and peace of mind.

If you have any further questions or you are interested in having an access control system installed then please get in touch with us here at Planet Fire – we are experts in this area and we’re happy to help.

Fire Risk Assessment – A Quick Guide

Fire is a disaster that everyone dreads, it threatens property and most importantly it threaten lives. In order to protect the public it’s against the law for any company not to follow fire safety regulations. You have to ensure that your company is fully compliant, and you have to carry out a regular fire risk assessment by law. If your company isn’t compliant, according to HM Government, you could go to prison and/or face stringent fines.

What is a Fire Risk Assessment?

First of all your company should appoint a responsible person to act as head of health and safety and they will be responsible for ensuring that a regular fire risk assessment takes place. This person will work with the company owner or CEO in order to ensure that all members of staff and visitors are safe at all times once they are within your building.

During the course of a fire risk assessment, all fire hazards will be identified, all fire exits will be checked to ensure that they are marked clearly and can be easily opened, disabled access and entry points will be highlighted and the needs of the sick and vulnerable will also be taken into account. Fire extinguishers and alarms will also be checked. A fire risk assessment will evaluate the worst possible scenario and make sure that everyone can evacuate the building safely in the event of a fire.

The Importance of Insurance

If you don’t carry out a regular fire risk assessment, you won’t just be breaking the law. Any insurance that your company has in place will also be null and void. You should also be able to show any external fire officers and health and safety officials that you have written evidence of a fire safety plan, as well as a record of all of your findings following a fire risk assessment.

The local fire and rescue authorities have the powers to carry out spot inspections, and if they’re not satisfied that your building is safe, or you haven’t carried out a proper fire risk assessment, then they can issue a fire safety notice.

Who Carries Out a Fire Risk Assessment?

In theory the person responsible for your company’s health and safety can carry out the fire risk assessment. In practice, it’s best to leave this job to the professionals. We are aware of all aspects of fire safety, and we are also fully up to date with all legal requirements.

Safety is our job, and we may well notice issues that the responsible person isn’t aware of. The government recommends that ‘if you don’t have the expertise or time to do the fire risk assessment’…you should use a ‘professional risk assessor.’

Planet Fire are Professionals

Kettering hospital and Oxford University Press are among our clients at Planet Fire, so we have a proven track record for our expertise. Whatever your business, if you value the safety of your workers, clients and visitors, and want to remain within the law, then get in contact, and we’ll carry out your fire risk assessment to the highest possible standards. If we see any problems with your fire safety protocols, we’ll be able to recommend changes in order to ensure that you are compliant and safe in the event of a fire.