Improved life safety awareness

February 2017 Fire & Safety

New research from Hochiki Europe shows improvements in building owners and managers’ knowledge of maintenance requirements for life safety systems.

A 2016 study of European Installers found that the number of building owners and managers unaware of the legal requirements surrounding life safety system maintenance has halved. The company’s 2015 research found two in five, or 46%, had no awareness, however that figure has dropped to one in five, or 22%, in the past 12 months.

The study also showed an increase in the number of customers’ installers visited with up-to-date fire detection and emergency lighting logbooks. In 2015, two fifths of customers (40%) failed to have an up-to-date fire detection logbook. This figure now stands at less than a third (30%). The number failing to have an up-to-date emergency lighting logbook has dropped even further, falling from over two thirds (67%) in 2015 to under half (48%) in 2016.

Despite the improvements in these key areas of maintenance, the number of building owners and managers experiencing false alarms showed little change, dropping just 1%, from 29% in 2015 to 28% in 2016.

Equally, the number of installers encountering buildings where customers had changed the use of their spaces, but failed to adjust their life safety systems accordingly dropped only slightly, reducing from just over half (55%) to exactly half (50%). More worryingly, this year failing to update the system correctly was the most common issue installers found when visiting a customer site.

The top five fire maintenance issues encountered by installers in 2016 were:

1. Change of building/room use without correctly altering the fire system (50%).

2. Inadequate logbook records (44%).

3. The original installer didn’t install the best system for the environment (40%).

4. Detectors need cleaning (33%).

5. Detectors need replacing (27%).

The top five emergency lighting maintenance issues encountered by installers in 2016 were:

1. Broken/faulty lamps (44%).

2. Inadequate logbook records (42%).

3. Inadequate emergency lighting signage (39%).

4. Batteries not charged in emergency lighting units (35%).

5. Inadequate lux levels (25%).

Tracy Kirk, GM of sales and marketing for Hochiki Europe, commented: “Our annual study shows a marked improvement in both understanding and meeting maintenance requirements among building owners and managers. This suggests that, as an industry, our efforts to educate and train those responsible for maintaining life safety systems is proving successful.

“That said, we acknowledge there are still some serious gaps to continue addressing, and while these are encouraging results we cannot be complacent. Ensuring the legal requirement for keeping up to date logbooks is met, the correct system is in place and reducing false alarms, are all vital to keep people safe. We will continue to provide training and information that can help our installers educate even more building managers and owners on the importance of life safety maintenance and the correct ways to carry this out.”

For more information contact Paul Adams, Hochiki Europe (UK), +44 1634 266 568,,

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