The replacement of fire safety equipment can be costly after vandalism, accidental misuse or damage, but more importantly it may not be operational when it is really needed. When located in public areas, equipment is especially vulnerable. Schools and colleges tend to have the largest issues relating to misuse and vandalism, but any public space is at risk.
Fire Extinguisher Protection
Commonly, fire extinguishers are tampered with and even the removal of a security tag can have implications. A fire extinguisher without a tag is no longer compliant with the British Standard and must be re-inspected. The cost of this could add up if extinguishers face repeated tampering. Less frequently, extinguishers can be maliciously discharged. Not only must you buy a replacement, but the clean up process is lengthy and costly depending on the extinguisher agent. Water causes serious damage to wood and destroys electrical equipment, while the powder agent is corrosive and would require a specialist clean up team.
You have many options to ensure your extinguishers stay operational, compliant and remain where you install them. Extinguisher covers are the most inexpensive choice to discourage antisocial behaviour. Attached to the cylinder with Velcro straps hidden at the back, your equipment is accessible while staying protected from opportunistic vandalism. Over time these covers can start to look tatty, but at a low price point they are easily replaced. In outdoor areas, extinguisher cabinets are ideal. Although looking a little industrial, cabinets protect extinguishers from vandals as well as the elements. Extinguisher alarms are best suited to your site in areas where personnel are nearby, e.g. schools. The 120db alarm alerts staff and scares away thieves.
Manual Call Point Protection
The misuse of manual call points is disruptive and decreases risk perception, as well as draining on the emergency service’s resources if automatically summoned. To prevent the accidental use of MCPs, you can simply install a call point cover. If you wish to install a misuse deterrent, alarmed covers are available. It is never too late to protect your manual call points as both covers can be retrofitted.
Fire Door Protection
Another fire safety issue commonly seen is the misuse of fire doors. People ignore door signs, propping them open, removing smoke seals or damaging their integrity by modifying them and in the process rendering them useless. Correctly installed door retainers can minimise these issues. When a fire alarm sounds, any doors held open close making an effective seal to heat and smoke. Door retainers improve accessibility and reduce general wear and tear. Please bear in mind door closers must be of the correct specification to cope with the weight of fire doors. The closing of a door must be of a controlled speed as to not damage the frame or injure people.
Remember, education is one of the most effective means of protecting your fire safety equipment. The correct use of equipment, especially fire doors, will increase its lifespan, help you to remain compliant and ensure vital equipment is operational when needed.
Please get in touch with our friendly team for further information on which protection method is best for your premises.