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Fire Alarms for Temporary Sites

A fundamental part of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order is being able to raise an alarm in the event of a fire. Not only does this apply to permanent buildings, but if you have a temporary or outdoor site, you need a temporary fire alarm.

Examples of where temporary alarms are required include:

  • Building and construction sites
  • Markets
  • Festivals and fairs
  • Marquees
  • Outdoor events
  • Any other outdoor sites

Battery-powered temporary fire alarms

Conventional, mains-powered fire alarm systems are suitable but they are expensive and take time to install. Opting for a battery powered temporary alarm, which don’t involve any wiring, is the quickest and most cost effective solution for a temporary site.

Types of temporary fire alarm

There are several types and brands of temporary alarm. Popular ones include:

  • Howler site alarms
  • Rotary hand bells
  • Klaxon temporary fire alarm
  • Air horns
  • Megaphone
  • Self-contained fire alarms
  • Interlinkable fire alarms
  • Standalone temporary alarms

Self-contained fire alarms

Self-contained fire alarms are solitary devices that incorporate a sounder, method of manually raising the alarm, and sometimes a light, beacon or strobe in one unit.

What about strobes and lights?

Depending on the type of site, strobes and lights are a good idea. Noisy construction work or crowds of people can make difficult conditions for a sound only fire alarm to be fully effective.

Air horns, megaphones and rotary alarm bells

On a small site, air horns and rotary alarm bells are both suitable. Both can be used to raise the alarm manually, and neither needs a battery.

However, these are unsuitable for larger sites where it may be difficult for everyone on the site to hear the alarm. It’s also not guaranteed that someone will stay on site long enough to continue sounding the alarm until everyone has evacuated. For these reasons, on larger sites, you’ll need self-contained, battery operated fire alarm instead.

Interlinking vs. Standalone temporary alarms

Which system you choose depends on how temporary your site is, and the nature of work taking place on the site. Both have their different benefits. For example standalone temporary fire alarms don’t need a control panel to function, but on a larger site not having interlinked fire alarms means limited coverage per alarm. Also, interlinkable alarms are normally connected via a wire, which could become damaged on some sites.

If you have a larger site, you may need to opt for an interlinking alarm, so if one alarm sounds on site then all alarms will sound alerting the whole site.

For more information on fire alarms, download our free Fire Alarm Buyers’ Guide or contact us on 0845 402 3045.

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