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CMMS to the rescue of fire safety

CMMS to the rescue of fire safety

Wednesday 15 april 2020

Whether they are Public Receiving Establishments (ERP), offices, residential buildings, individual houses, all buildings are equipped with fire detection and protection systems. This equipment must be maintained and serviced regularly in order to guarantee its perfect operation. A mobile CMMS will provide considerable help to the fire safety service providers in charge of these missions.

> Why a CMMS for building maintenance?

Fire detection and protection, what are the differences? 

Fire has always been one of the major risks incurred by a building and its users. Equipping buildings with advanced fire safety installations is therefore a priority. These installations will in fact be responsible for triggering the evacuation order, attempting to extinguish the fire at an early stage and facilitating the intervention of the fire brigade. These functions are carried out by a network of equipment that must be kept in perfect operational condition at all times.

The equipment is classified into 2 main categories: fire detection equipment and fire protection equipment. The large number of elements that an installation can comprise and their distribution over an entire site or building make monitoring, maintenance and servicing complex. These operations can be greatly facilitated and improved by the implementation of a CMMS [Computerized Maintenance Management System].

Fire detection 

The Fire Detection System, or FDS, is the first part of the Fire Safety System or FSS. Its objective is to detect the birth of a fire as quickly as possible. 
This includes :

  • Multi-sensor opto-thermal detectors (optical and thermal sensors)
  • Multi-point vacuum detectors
  • Smoke detectors
  • Temperature sensors
  • Flame detectors
  • Automatic or manual triggers
  • Fire stations 

The FDS also consists of intermediate equipment (wired or wireless network, etc.) and Control and Signalling Equipment (CSE), which warns of any system stress following the triggering of an alert, such as a fire alarm. 

The FDS transmits the information to the fire safety centraliser, which will automatically trigger the activation of protective equipment: smoke evacuation devices, fire doors, etc., and, if necessary, the evacuation of people. Depending on the size of the site and the risk involved, the installation of a centralized fire detection system may be necessary: the most sophisticated are linked to software applications offering a global view of a site from the supervision PC. These intelligent control units are networked to the detectors and all the automatable protection modules to ensure optimal site security. Their operating status is accessible from the central station, known at all times, allowing intervention in the event of faults.
The choice of the type of detector is essential and is made according to the specific characteristics of each establishment and its operation, in particular : 
 

  • The nature of the risks observed
  • Normal and occasional operations
  • The presence of specific phenomena that may interfere with the detector (temperature, humidity, etc.)
  • Architectural characteristics (height, access, etc.) 

Fire Protection 

Fire protection equipment is the second part of FSS. These are all the devices for the protection and implementation of measures for fighting fire and rescuing people.

These include, in particular :

  • Manual fire extinguishers
  • Sprinklers or sprinklers
  • Emergency exits and exits
  • Smoke extraction systems
  • Fire-resistant elements such as fire doors, fire dampers in ventilation ducts
  • Emergency lighting: useful in the event of a power failure or smoke extraction

The SSI equipment park, consisting of detection and protection, fulfils four different functions, each of which is essential to the safety of the building:
 

  • The compartmentalization function: preventing the spread of fire by closing fire doors and fire dampers in the ducts
  • The smoke extraction function: evacuating toxic, hot and opaque fumes
  • The technical stop function: to limit the growth of the fire by stopping certain appliances such as air conditioning equipment. It may also be to prevent lifts from stopping at the affected height
  • The evacuation function: to ensure the safety of the users of the premises by unlocking the emergency exits and triggering the evacuation alarm

The proper functioning of this equipment represents a major challenge for the safety of users and buildings. To meet this challenge, regular tests of the installations and annual inspections by specialised bodies must be carried out. Upstream, maintenance service providers are called upon to carry out preventive maintenance in order to guarantee the conformity and good working order of the devices. 

The objective is that the number of breakdowns or unexpected failures should tend towards 0. Indeed, if these devices operate only exceptionally, they must, when they are solicited, not present any fault, at the risk of endangering the lives of many people. 

The need for preventive maintenance 

The maintenance providers of these installations therefore have a heavy responsibility and it is decisive for them to develop a comprehensive preventive maintenance strategy. 

Even more than in other areas, the wear and tear of equipment and its risk of failure must be detected as early as possible, because even though it may continue to operate for a certain period of time, it is imperative, as a preventive measure, to replace it immediately. Preventive interventions carried out thus lead to an increase in the availability and reliability of technical assets and thus directly affect safety.
A well-conducted predictive maintenance strategy will allow :

  • A better planning of interventions
  • A better estimate of the burden
  • A reduction in curative interventions
  • A reduction in the number of breakdowns 
  • An increase in the lifetime of equipment
  • An increase in equipment reliability
  • An increase in the safety of goods and people
  • Better management of spare parts stock thanks to advance planning

Generally responsible for many sites spread over an often large geographical area, with a very large number of "small" dispersed equipment, it becomes impossible for service providers to find their way around when the listing of the park, the planning and the history of equipment interventions are carried out and archived in paper files, obsolete or even ill-adapted IT tools, mainly due to non-existent or insufficient mobile functionalities.

CMMS, essential for fire safety service providers 

Having a modern and mobile CMMS will make it easier to plan interventions, carry out mandatory and regulatory audits and make decisions in the event of anomalies. 

Fire safety maintenance service providers have the lives of many people in their hands. They cannot afford to neglect the management of equipment and must perfectly control all installations on all the sites for which they are responsible.
To ensure this monitoring, the use of a CMMS is essential for : 

  • Centralising and sharing data 

☞ Information is collected, shared and easily accessible from a fixed or mobile interface, including in offline mode.

  • Automatic scheduling

☞ Preventive maintenance plan organized, structured and simplified with automatic triggering of the associated work orders

  • Equipment history 

☞ Detailed visualization of each equipment on site and the interventions carried out previously with the dates of replacement of the elements such as batteries.

  • Mapping and monitoring of teams

☞ Easy geographical groupings to ensure optimized routes between each site and real-time monitoring of interventions

  • Communication with site managers 

☞ Automatic transmission to clients of detailed reports on each intervention and certificates of compliance

The knowledge and precise monitoring of the fleet of installations will guarantee them an efficient preventive maintenance strategy which, in addition to ensuring the safety of people and the conformity of the equipment, will lead to a reduction in maintenance costs, a reduction in the number of breakdowns, an increase in the productivity of technicians and an increase in the availability and reliability of the equipment over the long term.  

Conclusion 

ISS are indispensable for the protection of people and buildings. CMMS lightens the burden of responsibility on fire safety service providers, guaranteeing them proper compliance with regulations, improved quality of service and better communication between all those involved in safety. 

By the way, our ambition is to offer an unequalled user experience. Check it out immediately: try CMMS for free. Within 2 minutes, the time it takes to create your account, you'll discover what's newest in this category of software.

You can also benefit from a demonstration led by one of our consultants: book a videoconference

Good discovery and see you soon !

 

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