User’s responsibilities and premises management: who does what?
A fire detection and fire alarm system is designed to protect life and / or property. In order to fulfil this function, it is vital that maintenance, inspection and testing of the system are carried out on a regular, scheduled basis.
It is a complex process that can involve several different parties, so the BS5839 Standard recommends that the system user appoints “a single, named member of the premises management to supervise all matters pertaining to the fire detection and fire alarm system”. This places responsibility firmly in the hands of one individual, whose role is “to ensure that the system is tested and maintained in accordance with the recommendations of (Section 7: User’s responsibilities) of BS 5839” (p 131).
These responsibilities include, inter alia: the keeping of appropriate system records and all relevant documentation; ensuring that all relevant occupants of the protected premises are aware of any specific role and / or responsibility assigned them in respect of the fire detection and fire alarm system; and that the system itself is protected from any development that might negatively impact on the standard of protection it offers and / or contribute to the incidence of false alarms.
The logbook is a key document and, as well as the details of the manager / supervisor to whom responsibility for the fire detection and fire alarm system has been delegated, should contain a record of all the events that concern the system, whether these occurrences were scheduled or not (e.g. routine maintenance visits, test signals, fault signals, etc.). This comprehensive information can be valuable to whoever services the system and might also provide evidence of compliance with certain aspects of fire safety legislation, should such need arise.
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