The Importance of Regular Fire Safety Inspections and Maintenance – October 2021

It is vitally important to regularly inspect and maintain your buildings fire safety equipment. As a business owner, you are responsible for the safety of your building, employees and visitors. This includes the provision of adequate fire safety equipment and systems throughout the building. With more and more businesses returning to the office, it is essential to check that your fire safety equipment is regularly inspected.

Fire Extinguishers­

Fire Extinguishers need to be inspected and maintained by a competent person once a year in accordance with BS 5306. During these thorough checks your extinguisher is serviced and any necessary repairs are carried out or a replacement is recommended. A basic service would include checking it is in date, hasn’t been tampered with, is in good working order, is the correct weight and pressure and has the correct signage and positioning.

BS5306 recommends that fire extinguishers are tested by discharge every five years (water foam and powder) and refilled or replaced, and every ten years (CO2).  CO2 bottles are hydraulically tested at the ten year point, or the extinguisher is replaced.


It is also a requirement to keep a record of all servicing, maintenance and inspections of fire extinguishers.


Outside of the annual inspections, the responsible person for the premises should ensure that a visual inspection is carried out on all fire extinguishers monthly as follows;

    • – Check that the extinguishers are in the correct location
    • – Check that the anti-tamper seals are not missing
    • – Check the pressure gauge is in the green section
    • – Check for any damage to the extinguishers
    • – Confirm the operating instructions are legible
    • – Ensure the extinguishers not obstructed and are visible

RES extinguisher engineers are BAFE accredited (BAFE BS 5306 Part 3- Portable Extinguisher Maintenance).

Fire Alarms

British Standard: BS 5839 recommends any installed fire alarm system in your premises be maintained by a competent person at least twice a year. This includes detectors, call points and panels. A competent person is someone who has sufficient technical knowledge, understands the different types of fire alarms and how they work, is familiar with the makes and models, and has a good understanding of the legal requirements including the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO/FSO) and the BS 5839.

Routine fire alarm maintenance checks should be carried out by a competent person and include the following:

    • – Control panels
    • – Devices (sensors and detectors)
    • – Call points
    • – Voice alarms
    • – Batteries
    • – Reporting (Log book entry is a requirement)

RES provide fire alarm regular checks, servicing and maintenance. RES fire alarm engineers are BAFE accredited to BAFE SP203 – Fire Detection and Alarm System Modular Scheme SP203 – Part 1.

Emergency Lighting

Emergency Lighting is covered by BS EN 50172 / BS 5266-8 which provides guidance on the minimum level of testing dependant on the type of site you operate. Your responsible person should oversee the appropriate schedule.

Testing is as follows:


Monthly – Test all emergency lighting systems and ensure all luminaries and signs illuminate and are clean and present. A quick flick test is adequate.


Annually – To check that the lights remain illuminated for their full rated duration.


For safety reasons, the standards advise that the emergency lighting testing should be carried out at times of least risk to the buildings occupants or if possible, when the premises are unoccupied or in unoccupied portions of those premises.


RES provide Emergency Lighting Inspection and Testing, Fault Finding, Repairs and Regular Checks

RES fire alarm engineers are BAFE accredited to BAFE SP203 – Fire Detection and Alarm System Modular Scheme SP203 – Part 1.

Passive Fire Protection – Fire Doors

It is good practice to regularly inspect that your fire doors function correctly and that it will perform to its designed standard. Fire doors where traffic is high are more likely to be damaged and should be checked once a week/month (dependent on usage) by the responsible person for the property.


Periodic checks should be carried out every six months. Article 17 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO/FSO) makes it a legal requirement to ensure that fire resisting doors and escape doors are correctly installed and adequately maintained in order for them to be fit for purpose.


RES passive engineers are FIRAS Certified for Fire Door Maintenance.

Passive Fire Protection – Fire Stopping

According to FIRAS, fire protection measures can be degraded over time and it is the legal responsibility of the Responsible Person that the fire protection be adequately maintained. It is the responsibility of the responsible person to ensure that regular inspection takes place. Fire stopping is the compartmentation of a building bounded by fire resisting elements such as walls, floors and ceilings. Fire resisting elements are used around cables, pipes and ventilation systems.


We recommend your fire stopping is inspected every six months.


RES passive engineers are FIRAS Certified for Penetration Sealing (Fire Stopping).

Smoke Control / Automatic Opening Vents (AOVs)

Smoke vents have moving parts such as struts, hinges, pistons and actuators which remain stationary for long periods of time. As a result these systems can be prone to failure or fault. These systems should be regularly checked and subject to two maintenance visits per year to ensure they operate correctly.


RES undertake the servicing and maintenance of Smoke Control / Automatic Opening Vents (AOVs).

Dry Risers

BS 9990 requires that Dry Riser systems to undergo an annual static pressure test and inspection and a six monthly visual inspection, by a competent person. This ensures that the Dry riser system is maintained and functioning correctly for the fire brigade at all times.


RES can undertake dry riser servicing, testing and maintenance.

Fire Hydrants

BS 9990 requires that private fire hydrants to undergo an annual test and inspection and a six monthly inspection by a competent person to ensure the hydrant remains ready and in a working condition for brigade use. The Responsible Person should make periodical inspections of all Hydrants on a weekly and or a monthly basis.


Contact RES for ALL your Servicing, Testing and Maintenance needs.

This article is for general guidance only, please get in touch if you need assistance

Quelfire Product Training at RES Systems Ltd – June 2021

Quelfire Product Training at RES Systems Ltd.

RES were recently given expert product training in the Quelfire range of fire stopping products by Fire Containment Specialist Malcolm Williams from Quelfire. The aim of the training is to give installation experts the guidance and know-how on typical applications for fire stopping products.

Malcolm Williams, Fire Containment Specialist, Quelfire

Quelfire

Quelfire is one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of Specialist Firestopping Products for buildings and is a well-trusted brand that’s renowned for its long-standing commitment to high-quality, certified products, including fire containment systems for pipe, duct and electrical service penetrations.

The Training

The RES passive team were provided with an in-depth presentation and demonstration covering the rigorous testing that takes place on the Quelfire products, industry legislation, why passive fire protection is so critical, how the products work and detailed installation guidance. Fire stopping prevents the spread of fire (heat, flames, fumes) and increases the opportunity for safe egress from a building. It is therefore essential that any Fire Stopping product is correctly installed as per the manufacturers guidance.

The Quelfire Fire Stopping System

Quelfire provide a Fire Stopping System comprising a range of high quality individual products that are tested as a complete system. Their products are tested to current BS and BS EN Standards and are CE Marked as per the Under The Construction Products Regulation (CPR). Following on from the training, RES will continue to work closely with Quelfire on all our Fire Stopping projects.

RES Passive Fire Protection

RES provide a range of Passive Fire Protection such as Fire Stopping and Fire Doors and have FIRAS Accreditation. We cover the South of England including the counties of Middlesex, Essex, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire including London, Brighton, Portsmouth, Southampton, Winchester, Bristol, and the surrounding towns of Aldershot, Basingstoke, Beaconsfield, Bracknell, Cirencester, Egham, Farnham, Guildford, Henley on Thames, High Wycombe, Maidenhead, Marlow, Newbury, Oxford, Poole, Reading, Slough, Staines, St Albans, Staines, Swindon, Watford, Windsor, Woking, Wokingham and Worthing.

Fire Stopping

What is fire stopping?

Fire stopping is an essential fire-prevention technique to stop a fire from spreading throughout a building. It involves the sealing of gaps or other openings through which fire, smoke and heat could pass through (either vertically or laterally). It is vital that the correct fire stopping methods are installed to prevent a fire from escalating. Fire stopping prevents fire from spreading by creating fire resisting compartments that subdivide a building either vertically or horizontally. This ensures that a fire is contained within a compartment. For the fire to be contained however, any openings or gaps must be correctly sealed and fire-resistant walls and floors installed. Gaps must also be sealed between fire resisting constructions, i.e. gaps between walls and the floors above them. This ensures that a substantial barrier is constructed.

Types of fire stops

RES Fire Protection Engineers use various types of fire stopping methods, including: Fire sleeves A fire sleeve is intended to seal an aperture that has been created by electrical cabling or pipes passing through a fire-rated wall, ceiling or floor. If a fire breaks out and heat spreads, the sleeve opens out and expands to fill any gaps. If plastic pipes pass through a wall and a fire sleeve is installed near them, the sleeve will seal off the pipe by crushing it, preventing smoke and fire from passing through. Fire collars Fire collars cover pipes with flame retardant compounds that expand to stop the fire from reaching the pipes and potentially spreading to other areas. Fire covers  Fire covers are designed to cover indoor luminaires. If a fire breaks out, the cover expands to fill space with a high level of insulation that is fire-resistant. Gap fillers and fire sealants These products expand upon contact with high heat or fire, and work to seal gaps and prevent the spreading of smoke and flame. Different sealants can be used for different purposes.

Why do fire stopping methods need to be used?

In order to keep the occupants of a building safe, it is important that a building has the proper fire stopping methods installed to prevent fire spread. RES is FIRAS certified for penetration sealing systems. Fire stopping methods can save lives if implemented correctly. Every building layout is different, therefore different fire stopping methods will be required. A successful fire stopping system works when all fire stop products are working together to prevent fire from spreading. If one product fails, the rest of the system could fail. RES Fire Protection Engineers offer expert fire stopping services and advice as part of our Passive Fire Protection solutions to ensure that building gaps and voids are correctly sealed and fire resistant. We can advise on the correct fire stopping solutions for your premises. We cover the South of England including London, Berkshire, Bracknell, Windsor, Middlesex & Surrey, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Essex & Kent, West & East Sussex, Reading, Maidenhead, Slough, Newbury and the surrounding areas.

January 2019 – RES join Fire Protection Association

RES are now members of the The Fire Protection Association (FPA) which is the UK’s national fire safety organisation.

This further demonstrates our commitment  to working towards protecting people, property, business and the environment. Since the FPA’s formation in 1946 they have attained an unrivalled reputation for quality of work and expertise in all aspects of fire including research, consultancy, training, membership, publications, risk surveying and auditing. The FPA’s products and services are designed to assist fire, security and safety professionals achieve and maintain the very highest standards of fire safety management.