Protecting your office premises against fire is imperative, both ethically and legally. The lack of appropriate measures can turn catastrophic if an accident occurs. It can easily be avoided with just a few precautions. So, equipping your office with the appropriate fire fighting equipment should be the first step you take. You can find a number of fire fighting safety equipment suppliers for this. But how do you select the right one?
We have a brief questionnaire that can help you narrow down the right supplier. It covers important factors like quality control and maintenance service, such as refilling of fire extinguishers. You are looking for a supplier who can meet all your requirements and provide consistent service later on.
What is the range of equipment you keep?
If you want a comprehensive cover, look for a supplier who has a wide range of such products. A number of suppliers keep the whole inventory — from fire extinguishers, alarms to even a fire fighting force on hire! Some of the essential equipments that you may want to check out are:
- Fire sprinklers: This will require more investment on your part and a sprinkler network may also take more time than an extinguisher, but the cover they provide is more effective. Sprinklers work automatically, so they ensure protection even after office hours.
- Fire extinguisher: This is a necessary equipment and your office must have at least one extinguisher. The advantage of an extinguisher over a sprinkler lies in its portability. One can carry it to nooks and corners that sprinkler cannot reach.
- Fire alarm: These alarms are triggered by smoke. Essential for every building, whether commercial or residential, fire alarms are extremely effective in controlling fires. Studies have shown that early detection and instant action is critical in controlling fires and minimizing damage.
Do you have the extinguisher I am looking for?
All extinguishers are not the same. Which extinguisher you need will depend on the kind of equipment and inventory you have. For instance, if most of your space is taken by electronic equipment like computer servers, you will need a CO2 extinguisher. If it you stock is mostly solids like paper and cloth, you will need a water or foam extinguisher. This will also effect the refilling of fire extinguishers.
Do you have an expert who can advice me?
If you are equipping your office space from scratch, you may need expert advice on the equipment and extent of coverage. For this you will need a proper risk assessment, the right location for mounting extinguishers and a planned evacuation strategy. While you can do it yourself, it does pay top get an expert’s opinion. A professional will have the best idea about the latest equipment available and how it can be used on your premises.
Can someone train my staff?
Just buying equipment is not enough. You have to know how to use it. Certain equipment like CO2 extinguishers must be used in a specific manner. Other equipments like sprinklers and alarms may have mechanism to switch on and off. In addition, all this equipment must be checked and maintained at all times. For instance, fire extinguisher levels have to be checked regularly to ensure that refilling of fire extinguishers takes place on time. You must have a staff trained for this purpose.
What quality control measure do you have?
You can choose to go directly with a manufacturer or a supplier. The difference between them is that a supplier simply stock equipment from various manufacturers. In either case, check the quality control of your supplier. How do they ensure that strict standards are maintained? Does the equipment comply with the given ISO standards? This is extremely important to check if the equipment is of reliable quality and will not fail you when you most need it.
What after-sales services do you provide?
A good service is very critical. Check if they will provide regular servicing for equipment like extinguishers and sprinklers. This will save you from the hassle of looking for different maintenance crew. Another service you will require is refilling of fire extinguishers. This must be done by a professional team that has all the required equipment.
These are the critical questions you should ask your fire fighting equipment supplier. Make sure that they have the equipment you need, meet all quality standards, and offer services like refilling of fire extinguishers.