Don’t get Burned: The Benefits of a Bespoke Fire Response System

Fire Response System

 According to a 2022 report by insurance giant Allianz Global, fires led the most expensive losses for South African businesses over a five year period – more than 60 percent of the value of all claims.*

That’s why Managing Director of Intellisec, Denzil Steyn, believes that a suitable fire detection system installed by a certified company is essential for large corporates, warehouses or shopping centres.

“A fire that goes undetected can quickly result in significant damage to your property and assets; and while you may be insured, your factory or warehouse will likely have to close for repairs for an indefinite period and that can be incredibly expensive,” he said.

But just having a fire detection system may not guarantee an insurance pay-out. If the system isn’t properly specified for your structure, your insurance company can deny the claim. Legally, any occupied building taller than 30 metres (approx. 10 floors) or a floor that exceeds 5,000m² in size is required to have a fire detection system.

Plus, compliance is only met if your system meets certain criteria. Specifically, it must be designed, installed and maintained by competent persons conforming to SANS 10139, i.e., technicians trained and certified by the South African Qualification & Certification Committee (SAQCC) or Fire Detection Industry Association (FDIA).

Further to this, the system must be serviced every six months in order to remain compliant. All of this is a good reason to work with a company that specialises in fire detection systems – and can meet all legal requirements.

Every business has different needs, which is why Intellisec works on a case by case basis to create bespoke, turnkey systems that meet specific requirements. This can involve a combination of various detection devices – all controlled by a central fire panel – depending on the nature of your business. The object is to remove the element of human error as far as possible.

“If your security guard is another part of the building or on a toilet break when the fire starts, the delay can be disastrous. The sooner the response, the less damage there will be and the quicker your business can recover. An effective fire response system covers every part of the building and is monitored 24/7 from a control room, much like your security system. This allows for almost immediate detection, and a faster response time,” says Steyn.

Your fire system can also be integrated with access control, giving the fire-fighting team immediate access to the property – another critical time-saver. A proper fire detection system will also indicate the precise source of the fire, so that fire-fighters don’t waste time searching for it.

Finally, a properly installed system has a self-checking function. The systems designed by Intellisec will self-check every 60 seconds. This prevents a scenario of only discovering that your system is faulty when an actual fire breaks out.

A fire suppression system is an add-on option to protect highly sensitive areas like server rooms. These systems instantly fIood the area with inert gas, dispIacing oxygen from the­ area, extinguishing the fire and ensuring it doesn’t restart.

*Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty’s (AGCS) Global Claims Review 2022

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