Veriserv is a member of the ECA

We are pleased to announce that we have recently become a member of the ECA; Electrical Contractors’ Association.

ECA is the UK’s largest trade association and is exclusively made up of organisations involved with design, installation, monitoring, testing, inspection and maintenance within the electrotechnical and engineering services sector.

ECA members have achieved the highest levels of certification in their areas of work through ‘approved’ industry certification bodies or the ECA’s own Technical Assessment Scheme. As a result, clients can be assured that Veriserv as a ECA members, not only deliver the highest calibre of work possible, but are also supported by an organisation that ensures we are performing at their peak.

As an ECA Registered Member Veriserv are obliged to work in a competent and responsible manner with due regard to the standards set out in the ECA’s Guarantee of Work and Bond schemes, which are specific to electrical, voice/data communications, security or control systems installation or maintenance work. Veriserv will also be subjected to periodic technical assessments and are expected, at all times, to maintain the skills and knowledge appropriate to their trade. Through these measures Veriserv customers can ensure consistent quality work, support and follow-up.

Veriserv covers the main electrical support areas of electrical testing from PAT testing through to fixed wire inspections and emergency lighting testing. In addition our electrical installation team has over 20 years’ experience ensuring installations are delivered on time and on budget by a multi-disciplined design, project management and engineering team, to ensure the highest standards, protecting the workplace and the people there,

In addition to our electrical support areas Veriserv are major service providers in the fire safety area with the care of fire alarm maintenance through to providing a comprehensive fire solution.

Veriserv also provide security programmes to protect our customers, whether that’s the installation of simple barriers and gates through to providing our own comprehensive safety and security systems, Verisafe, for the protection of staff, designed for those that are exposed continually to members of the public.

If you have any questions or want to book a free assessment of your premises fill out our contact form or call 01543 225306 to speak to a member of our team.

Does Your Fire Alarm Need A Service?

UK fire alarm regulations only state that your fire alarm system must be ‘adequately maintained’, however BS 5839 recommends that a fire alarm system should be inspected by a competent person at least every 6 months and the government recommends following this standard.  In fact, if you work out of large premises, a quarterly service is recommended, as there are many more components to your fire alarm system, and therefore more opportunities for something to go wrong.

Veriserv offer a full fire alarm service programme which complies with British Standard 5839. You can be confident that we will keep your fire alarm in good working order and compliant to current legislation.

Single systems or multi-site, we can service any make or type of fire alarm system, providing you with certification for your records.

Why is fire alarm servicing important?

There are two main reasons to keep your fire alarm in working order:

  1. To alert occupants in the event of fire and so prevent loss of life
  2. To prevent false alarms

Whilst the first reason may seem obvious, the second reason is less well known.  The fact is that false alarms account for a huge number of fire brigade call-outs.  This incurs a lot of expense and, more importantly, could mean that the fire brigade is otherwise occupied when a real emergency arises.  The fire brigade has now imposed charges for call-outs at premises which have a high number of false alarms, as an incentive for businesses to keep their fire alarms better maintained.

Fire Alarm Testing

When our technician has completed the service of your fire alarm system, he will test it to check that it is working correctly and ensure that the bells/sounders reach the required decibel sound levels.

Have you already got a maintenance regime in place?

Are you not happy with this service?

Veriserv can test your systems and provide you with a report to detail any deficiencies. We are happy to take over existing systems after agreeing any system improvements that may be required to bring these systems up the required standards.

If you have any concerns about your fire alarm system, please call 01543 225306, or fill out one of our contact forms to arrange a free assessment of your premises, with one of our fully trained engineers.

The types of fire extinguishers and the importance of them to reduce the risk of fire

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO), business principles and responsible people have a duty to protect people in the event of a fire.

The responsible person would generally be the owner, landlord or business director or even a member of staff who is delegated with responsibility for fire safety.

Fire extinguishers are essential equipment to help fight a fire should one breakout. A visual inspection should be carried out together with a periodic maintenance programme. A competent person who is qualified by training and has the experience to undertake the inspections and maintenance should carry out regular visual inspections of all the fire extinguishers within a property.

BS5306:3 Code of Practice for Fire Extinguisher Service and Maintenance provides recommendations on how to conduct a visual inspection. The points are as follows:

  • Each extinguisher is correctly located in the designated place;
  • Each extinguisher is unobstructed and visible;
  • The operating instructions of each extinguisher are clean and
    legible and face outwards.
  • Each extinguisher has not been operated and is not obviously
    damaged or has any missing parts.
  • The reading of any pressure gauge or indicator fitted to an
    extinguisher is within operational and safety limits.
  • The seals and tamper indicators of each extinguisher are not
    broken or missing.

There are four classes of fire extinguishers – A, B, C and D – and each class can put out a different type of fire.

  • Class A extinguishers will put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as wood and paper.
  • Class B extinguishers are for use on flammable liquids like grease, gasoline and oil.
  • Class C extinguishers are suitable for use only on electrically energised fires.
  • Class D extinguishers are designed for use on flammable metals.

If you employ 5 or more people records should be kept and it is a legal requirement to maintain a permanent record of all servicing, maintenance and inspections which could be audited by the Fire Services Inspectorate.

We can review your existing provision for extinguishers and provide you with a suitable service and maintenance programme to ensure you comply with current fire regulations. We can also carry out a full fire risk assessment of your business premises if required. This would, for example, include Fire Alarm Systems, Escape routes, Extinguishers and signage.

Please call 01543 225306 or fill out one of our contact forms to arrange a free fire risk assessment of your premises, to discuss your fire prevention needs, or to arrange a maintenance programme. Speak to one of our fully trained engineers today.

Are you prepared should a fire break out?

Keeping your staff and customers safe will always be of paramount importance for any business and the risk of fire is one of real concern.

Our fire safety products and services offer the very best fire prevention and protection, giving you the peace of mind should there ever be a need for them.

We understand that protecting your business from the threat of fire is a huge concern and this can be achieved with 24/7 monitoring of single or multi-site locations through an NSI Fire Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). We can protect your assets as well as your staff and customers to the highest degree.

Veriserv are an NSI certificated company which signifies that we are compliant with BAFE (British Approvals for Fire Equipment). We have an exceptional standard of workmanship and are a one-stop shop for all fire & security needs.

We will provide you with a ‘value for money’ fire alarm solution which is installed to the highest of standards.

Whether you are a small, large, a single or multiple site business we have the fire detection systems for your needs.

We:

  • Design to BAFE Standards
  • Carry out a technical survey and install your fire detection system
  • Commission and handover the system to you in a professional manner
  • Maintain all fire detection systems – not just those that we have installed

Not maintaining fire systems correctly could put yourself at risk as well as your employees and customers. Once we have handed over a fire system to you we will always offer a fire system maintenance agreement. This will provide you with total peace of mind by ensuring full compliance to current regulations.

We understand that both end users and building contractors want to work with businesses that they can fully trust. Veriserv always complete projects on time and within the agreed budgets set out by our clients.

Whether you require a new fire detection system installation or just need a product to be maintained correctly to stay compliant simply fill out our contact form to book your free assessment, or call 01543 225306 to speak to a member of our team.

Has your Fire Alarm Battery been tested

Has your fire alarm battery been tested recently ? All fire alarms systems have some sort of backup power to maintain alarm functionality if for any reason the mains power fails. For most systems this reserve power would be provided by a backup battery.

For all fire alarm systems it is imperative that the backup battery is tested during routine maintenance.

The battery shown below was removed from a customers fire alarm system by a Veriserv engineer during periodic maintenance of the system.

There are various faults that can effect batteries however this fault is clearly visible in the form of swelling and distortion. This battery has become swollen as a result of overcharging which has been caused by a faulty voltage regulator within the fire alarm panel and excessive current has flowed into the battery after the battery has reached full charge. The constant current will cause decomposition of the electrolyte within the battery and lead to premature aging. At high rates of overcharge a battery will progressively heat up and as it gets hotter it will accept more current, heating up even further. This is called thermal runaway and it can destroy a battery in as little as a few hours.

A Veriserv engineer replaced this battery and repaired the faulty panel to prevent the new battery suffering the same fate.

Operators and owners of non domestic premises have a duty under the Health & Safety at work Act 1974 to provide a safe place of work. In practice this means that all non domestic premises should have a working fire alarm system which is being properly maintained. Veriserv can provide design and installation services together with a suitable on going maintenance regime.

British Standard BS5839 sets out the code of practice for design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of systems in non domestic premises. Section 25.4 states that the following recommendations are applicable: a) The standby supply should comprise of a secondary (rechargeable) battery with an automatic charger, b) The battery should be of the type having a life of at least four years under the conditions of use likely to be experienced in the fire detection and fire alarm system.

A Veriserv engineer would check the age of the battery and carefully calculate the specification of a replacement where necessary.

Veriserv are accredited to NSI Gold standard and can provide guidance if you are un sure of your duties or need some reassurance as to the condition of your fire alarm system. We can also carry out a mandatory Fire Risk Assessment for your premises to make sure any potential fire hazards are identified and addresses.

For more information please contact us on 01543 225306 or complete our on line form.

Other sources of information;

Fire Industries Association (FIA)

National Security Inspectorate (NSI)

British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE)

Health & Safety Executive (HSE)

 

Thermographic Inspection – Fault of the Week at Veriserv

In this example of our Veriserv fault of the week a thermographic inspection detects latent defect which could cause failure and/or fire.
A small rise in temperature at an electrical terminal was found while undertaking a thermographic inspection. Not visible to the naked eye, if left unchecked, the termination could undergo a progressive failure that would lead to very high temperatures and could be a likely cause of fire.

A number of causes can give rise to increased heat either at electrical switchgear, terminations or electrical circuits.

In this instance the engineer inspected the electrical connection more closely and noted that the wiring is becoming discoloured due to the heat. This would suggest that even higher temperatures were possibly reached at this point under load conditions.

Identifying ‘hot spots’ in electrical equipment is just the starting point for Veriserv engineers when undertaking thermographic inspections. These ‘hot spots’ or points of interest require careful consideration to identify the root cause. As all inspections are undertaken by electrical engineers, investigating the likely cause of the failure is immediate and speedy rectification is often made.

More information on Thermographic Inspection

Our mission is to provide every single customer with an outstanding service that is fit for purpose and delivered by experts to reduce risk. As you can see from our other faults of the week, regular visits from a professional can cut down the risk of electrical faults, fire and disrupted security, to you and your workplace.

So if you know you are due a service, or have some concerns about your premises, please call 01543 225306, or fill out one of our contact forms to arrange a free assessment of your premises, with one of our fully trained engineers.

Relevant Regulations
Electricity at Work Regulations 1989-Reg 4(2) ‘maintenance to prevent danger’. Reg 10 ‘Connections’
IET Wiring Regulations 2008 (amd 2015): 134.1.4