Public, commercial, or industrial premises are sure to contain thousands of pounds worth of property – from goods for sale to operational equipment – that could be damaged or completely destroyed if an uncontained fire breaks out.
Of course, not only the building and the contents inside are at risk – lives are also at stake. Failing to implement fire safety measures can therefore have severe consequences.
You can’t put a price on saving lives, but installing fire shutters is an affordable and often invaluable investment in fire safety. Here are some of the benefits that toughened steel fire-rated shutters can bring to your business.
Upholding fire safety standards
If you want to keep your business running legally, your operations must comply with health and safety standards. This includes fire safety rules – if you don’t comply with the relevant Building Regulations, the authorities could charge financial penalties or even shut your business down.
The equipment that you use in your fire prevention measures must be manufactured, fitted, and maintained in line with standardised tests to ensure they remain fit for purpose. Installing fire-rated shutters in compliance with these regulations keeps everyone around safer in emergencies, while also keeping your business on the right side of the law.
Increased fire protection
How fire shutters work is by compartmentalising fires, holding flames and smoke in a limited area. A fire-rated shutter must be able to withstand the heat of a fire for at least 30 minutes, which – when combined with other systems such as fire alarms and sprinklers – should be enough time for anyone in the area to evacuate safely and for firefighters to arrive.
Fire-rated roller shutters are usually installed over interior openings and kept open, rolled up out of sight, until they’re triggered by the fire alarm or heat/smoke sensors. When activated, the shutter rolls down to block the passage. The higher the rating, the longer the shutter’s protection should last – at Roller Shutter Services, our fire shutters have a 1 hour rating.
Different designs and systems
Just like standard roller shutters for shopfronts, fire shutters are available in a selection of finishes and can be programmed to operate in a variety of ways. In addition to the fire and smoke rating, you should pay attention to the shutter’s operational possibilities.
Fire shutters are typically hooked up to the main control system, so that when a fire alarm is triggered anywhere in the building, it activates the shutter. However, if it needs to remain open for as long as possible to maintain an escape route, it can be programmed to close halfway, and only close fully when a sensor on or near the shutter detects high levels of heat or smoke.
You might not be too concerned about aesthetics, as the fire shutter will be open most of the time, but the box that houses the shutter will likely still be visible above the opening. To help it match with its surroundings, we can powder-coat the shutter and its housing in any RAL colour – providing a great opportunity for continuous company branding.
Easy to operate and maintain
Automated fire shutters will self-close as programmed when activated by pre-set triggers, making them discreet and easy to use. They won’t be a hindrance to your day-to-day operations, and they’ll have fail-safe options to ensure they still close if power is lost.
Even if the fire shutter is opened and closed more regularly, like a security shutter, it will be easy to operate both electrically and with manual back-ups. As long as it’s operated in line with the manufacturer’s instructions and regularly cleaned and tested, you can be confident that your shutter will work efficiently if there’s a fire.
Aside from testing the shutter as part of your regular fire drills, all you really need to do to maintain the shutter is to get it professionally serviced every 6 months – again, in compliance with Workplace Health, Safety, and Welfare regulations, as your business could be fined otherwise. These periodical checks will give you peace of mind that the equipment stays in working order.
Usually, fire shutters are fitted inside buildings over internal doorways and openings to prevent fire and smoke from spreading throughout the interior, and left open most of the time. However, they can also be fitted over external doorways and openings, and rolled down when the business is closed if they’re specified for this type of use.
This means that openings such as warehouse loading bays or storefronts can benefit from the added security of fire protection on top of impact resistance. Toughened steel roller shutters are often used to deter attempts at forced entry, so fire shutters that are also capable of acting as security shutters when closed can protect your property against vandalism and theft, too.
Fire shutter installation for your business
Would you want to risk extensive property damage, downtime, and repair bills if a fire gets out of control? Fires can break out unexpectedly, especially in buildings containing large amounts of flammable materials and machinery, so it’s always best to be prepared.
Whether your premises are used for commercial, industrial, agricultural, or any other purposes, one of the most straightforward ways to improve your fire safety system is to install fire shutters. Carrying out a professional fire risk assessment can reveal where fire shutters would be most beneficial, and which ratings and operating types you would need.
If you’re ready for your business to experience all of the benefits listed above, contact us to discuss bespoke fire shutters, complete with customisation and installation services.
Not only do we provide standard roller shutters in Bolton and the North West, but at Roller Shutter Services we also offer one-off and ongoing contracts for roller shutter repairs in Bolton and the surrounding areas – helping you to fulfil your fire shutter servicing obligations, too.