Among UK workplaces, construction sites are among the most vulnerable to fire emergencies and accidents, which can result in substantial financial losses. Given the high-risk environment, as well as the various materials that could further spread fire, having a suitable protection system in place is paramount - and wireless fire alarms are quickly emerging as an advantageous option for many sites.
For companies that have not previously invested wireless fire alarm technology, it is important to learn about the basics first. Regardless of the size or type of the construction site, the UK has laws, guidelines and codes of practices in place governing the use of both hardwired and wireless fire safety systems, and construction firms need to be aware of these.
Here, we will explore the ins and outs of how wireless alarms can help construction sites to protect their workforce and assets, while remaining fully compliant with the relevant legislation. By doing so, you can ensure the best possible protection for your organisation throughout the duration of the work period.
What are the benefits of wireless alarms for construction sites?
Construction sites are often seen as high-risk workplaces due to the wide range of manual labour, materials and unstable environments involved. Timescales are usually tight, with complex working requirements, and harsh regulatory penalties enforced when standards are not met.
As the industry continues to expand, the technology behind protective equipment is also evolving to keep up. British manufacturers have been making huge improvements in developing technologies that safeguard these environments, with the functionality and design of fire alarms changing to incorporate additional features that ensure maximum protection.
One of the most popular and reliable of these emerging technologies are wireless fire alarms, which have quickly become the ideal choice for most large construction sites. Because they are wireless, there is no need for them to be physically connected into the infrastructure, allowing them to simply be moved into a new location as the site develops - a significant benefit when working in an environment that is under constant redevelopment and reassessment.
Wireless fire alarm systems also deliver the following benefits:
Wireless alarms systems are able to cover wide areas, due to their ability to communicate between themselves from device to device, rather than directly to the control panel.
Flexibility and durability
Wireless systems are optimal for different types of building sites, and their robust design means they will still work regardless of how harsh the environment is.
Wireless alarms are very quick and easy to install, as they do not require any wiring work. They also need very little maintenance and can also be reused for other projects, meaning costs will remain low throughout the lifetime of the device.
Because construction sites are often not permanent fixtures, it makes sense to invest in fire systems that are easy to adjust and well optimised for the task at hand. In this regard, wireless fire alarms are already proving their worth in a significant way.
How does a wireless fire alarm system work?
Although wireless fire alarms work in much the same way as conventional wired systems, their design differs in some key ways. Wireless systems are battery operated, requiring no connection to the mains power supply, and are designed to communicate with each other over wireless channels.
When one of the devices is activated, all of the linked alarms will be triggered at the same time to provide a site-wide alert. These systems are designed to work in conjunction with each other, and can be tested and reset from a single location.
This networked setup makes it easy to scale up or scale down the required number and location of the units as the project evolves. Wireless fire alarms can be installed and uninstalled depending on current needs, without having to reprogram the whole site’s circuitry, hire a specialist tradesperson to dismantle the system, or carry out any dangerous cutting or drilling work.
What regulations do wireless fire alarms need to meet?
In order to be put to use on your construction site, wireless fire alarms need to be shown to comply with the following regulations:
- Fire alarms should be designed, installed and maintained in accordance with the BS5839 Part 1 standards, codified by the British Standards Institution
- Both the detection and fire alarm equipment must be certified by a third-party in order to meet EN 54 regulations, developed by the European Committee for Standardization and accepted as an international best practice standard
By picking the right wireless alarm system for your project, you will be able to deliver the level of protection your site needs, while incorporating all the features required by British and European law.
Managing fire safety on a large-scale construction project will always be complex, but relying on trusted, industry-approved wireless alarm systems can help to simplify this process, allowing you to remain compliant while ensuring the overall protection of your workforce. With so many high-quality options to choose from, your protection is guaranteed.
At SafetyBuyer, we offer a wide range of fire safety products to suit the demanding requirements of the construction sector, including the tried-and-tested Evacuator Synergy RF Wireless Fire Alarm Systems. To find out more about these products, visit www.evacuatoralarms.com; you can also get in touch with us on 0800 043 0161, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.