There is no shortage of choice when it comes to selecting fire-suppression suppliers, but make sure they have the experience to deliver the right equipment and service levels.
There is one thing worse than having a serious fire break out at your business or commercial site – realising that you are about to pay the price for inadequate or poorly installed fire-suppression systems.
Too often, a relatively minor fire can cause significant damage to property because shortcuts have been taken. That’s why it is crucial for owners and managers to run the rule over their potential suppliers. Here is a guide to what genuine fire-safety experts should be able to offer.
1. A proven track record
Ask prospective providers to present comprehensive details about their background and offering, including outlining case studies of clients they have helped. Get the number of some of those clients, too, and call them to verify equipment and service standards. Fire safety is too important an issue to put your faith in a glossy brochure or flashy website. Do your due diligence.
2. Up-to-date knowledge
Did you know that there has been an overhaul of rules relating to foam firefighting systems because of environmental and public health concerns relating to toxic foams containing the compounds perfluorooctane sulphate (PFOs) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOAs)?
Fire-safety experts with genuine experience will be across all the latest regulations regarding all forms of fire-suppression systems, especially those involving high-hazard facilities such as airports, mines, ports and petrochemical sites. Finding out that your site does not comply with rules after a fire event can be a costly exercise.
3. Project management experience
The best fire-suppression experts should be able to work with architects and mechanical services consultants to streamline the installation of proven fire-fighting systems. They should also be able to advise you on fire-modelled strategies. Such skills are increasingly important given that many commercial and industrial buildings are adopting risk assessment-based fire safety. So, it is essential for the fire-suppression specialist to have access to personnel with a sound technical understanding of fire risks when devising solutions.
4. Design and installation skills
Devising an appropriate fire-suppression solution requires considerable planning and design work before installations take place. Fire industry professionals can survey a site and tailor a system to meet the specific requirements of different locations and operations. Efficient installation will also minimise downtime, which is a budget killer for commercial operations.
5. After-sales service
Ongoing testing of fire-suppression systems after installation is a legal requirement designed to improve safety outcomes and ensure that all components of any new system are working properly. Some fire-suppression providers make a cheap sale then move on to the next client. They can be hard to contact after the sale if things go wrong or follow-up service is required. Choose a partner who will be around for the long-term.
6. First-class equipment and systems
Of course, all businesses and sites need internationally proven fire-fighting equipment and systems. Major sites need an arsenal of delivery systems, ranging from firefighting monitors, gaseous suppression systems and foam concentrates. Without partnerships with world-class suppliers of proven protection solutions, engineers and site managers could be exposed to significant delays and the risk of installing inadequate fire-safety systems.
Remember that your business – and its people – are too valuable to opt for second-rate solutions.
Delta Fire specialises in the fire protection of commercial and industrial sites and has a long history of deploying world-class fire-suppression products and systems to assist its clients. Visit www.deltafire.com.au for more details.