It is vital that businesses take the appropriate steps to keep their offices safe and secure. Not only do businesses have a duty to ensure their staff are safe when working, but it’s also crucial the office is secure when vacant and unoccupied. Files, documents, equipment and a whole host of other assets need to be protected from threats like fire and theft at all hours of the day.
The wide range of fire and security technology available to businesses can make it challenging to select the appropriate system. This blog from the expert team at Sovereign Fire & Security outlines reasons why businesses should invest in fire and security solutions, the options available to them and the regulations to be met upon their installation.
Why do Offices Need Fire and Security Systems?
The installation of an effective fire and security system has many benefits. Most importantly, fire and security solutions maximise the safety of an office and its employees. The wide variety of technology available serves to protect assets and staff from the risks posed by security breaches and fires.
Under UK law, it is required that every office space takes steps to ensure the safety of its occupants. According to GOV.UK, fire safety within business or non-domestic premises is the responsibility of an employer, premises owner, landlord, occupier or other person in control of a premises. Each business premises must have a ‘responsible’ person who must complete regular risk assessments as well as upkeeping and managing the systems in place. In the instance of shared premises, respective ‘responsible people’ must co-ordinate their plans to ensure the safety of the entire premises. Wherever possible, businesses must eliminate employee risks and have an action plan in place should an emergency situation arise.
View the responsibility for fire safety in the workplace on GOV.UK.
Volume 2 of UK The Building regulations (amended in 2020) is available in full on the GOV.UK website. Within this document, a variety of regulations relating to fire and security systems are outlined. These regulations cover alert and escape protocols, fire alarm systems and prevention for fire spread, among many other areas.
In addition to keeping staff safe and meeting legal requirements, the installation of fire and security technology gives operators insight into access in and within premises. Effective access control technology also offers advantages in emergency situations that demand rapid information about whereabouts of staff.
Office security systems such as intruder alarms also alert operators of entry from unauthorised visitors or – more favourably – prevent their access entirely. The very presence of a visible security system also functions as a deterrent for thieves and those looking to gain unauthorised access.
Security solutions can also simplify the arrival process within office buildings, technology such as access control can maximise the efficiency of staff and guest arrival and reduce the time consumed by conventional sign in processes.
This combination of these features grants office workers peace of mind both about their safety and the security of company assets, as well as contributing to a maximally efficient workplace environment.
Fire and Security Technology in Offices
Fire Detection and Alarm systems
Fire detection and alert systems allow workers to be notified of fire risk as early as possible. Early detection of fire or harmful substances allows workplaces to limit the risk of harm to employees and assets. Early recognition allows for early response, evacuation and notification of emergency services. The importance of rapid response to alerts is magnified within office contexts, due to their frequent situation within high rise buildings that pose more exit challenges in the event of emergency. In addition, large numbers of people clustered within confined spaces pose greater risk of casualties in the absence of an effective fire alarm.
In the event of fire, the installation of sprinkler systems helps limit the spread of flames and consequent damage. Triggered by heat, sprinklers detect developing fires and emit water upon the reaching of a required temperature. In addition to limiting the damage to buildings and contents, the installation of sprinklers also limits the risk encountered by emergency services as they enter a premises during an emergency call-out.
There are various non-water sprinkler systems, namely gas suppression systems, available that suit application in technology filled environments such as offices.
Intruder alarms protect office spaces by alerting controllers of unauthorised access that could compromise the safety of employees and/or valuable assets. Alarm systems also offer specific protection for safes or rooms containing high value goods in the event of forced access.
A widely used method of commercial security is access control. Access control poses a host advantages in office settings – monitoring attendance, arrival times, simplifying check in for guests and inhibiting access from unauthorised persons.
Access control technology offers a highly flexible solution to office security. Access control systems keep premises secure whilst also eradicating the need for traditional lock and key systems which can be time consuming and limit the efficiency with which staff members can start work.
Office facilities may also incorporate CCTV into their security solution. The installation of CCTV or other surveillance technology in combination with systems such as intruder alarms and access control can allow for an extensive and highly effective security system that both prevents unauthorised access and aids investigation should access be gained.
Remote access and monitoring even enables users to view live footage of their cameras and receive updates from their security system when away from the office. Immediate notification is provided should an intruder, fire or any other type of unusual activity be detected. This provides peace of mind 24/7 and can save thousands of pounds in potential losses from theft, criminal damage and fire.
Learn More with Sovereign Fire & Security
For more information about how the team at Sovereign Fire & Security can help secure your office space in accordance with current regulations, get in touch. Our expert team here at Sovereign Fire & Security are on hand to recommend solutions to fit your fire and security needs.
Our host of services and products span fire detection and alarm systems, intruder alarms, access control and CCTV – for more information about our products contact a member of our team.