The Fire alarm that will disrupt your Flow on a Friday Night.
I was in a Bar/restaurant/nightclub last week – a rare site, I know – but I was carrying out a survey when something caught my eye.
The link to mute the music from the fire alarm, in itself, it’s not particularly unusual, however, this one was not very secure at all.
One tug could send this vital cable flying!
As you can probably imagine, the alarms sounding isn’t everybody’s favourite Friday night flow, but is often the only automated signal for the building users to evacuate the building.
It’s clearly wired using fire rated cable, is connected and I am told that it works – Great!
But!!! (There’s always a but…) as you can see from the pic above it’s not secure, which in part is due to the terminations being ‘push fit’. A life safety cable of this importance should have cable clamps or another method of securing the cable to the rack. Also…
It’s on wheels!
The music rack is mobile, more specifically it’s on wheels.
I recommended glanding off and fixing the cable directly into a suitable junction box near to the rack, then wiring a flexible lead to the mute link, ideally with a cable clamp fitted on the rack to secure the link. In addition to that, I have recommended looking at how we can monitor this cable for faults automatically (I’ll have to ask Barry about that).
The manufacturer has clearly not designed the system to cater for the specific needs of the site and has not allowed for a secure link. I can almost guarantee the installer never gave it a second thought, other than thinking that they would be helpful in connecting the link.
Why is this so important?
To understand this you have to think forward to a time when the establishment is in full swing; the music is loud and the vast majority of ‘guests’ inebriated, focused on having a good time and each in their own conversations, then you have to imagine a fire breaking out and the fire alarm doing its job and detecting the smoke, it will start ringing, but if the music is still on because the link has popped out, then, will anyone hear it?
This is why the cable is of such importance and the connection needs to be secure.
Fortunately, in this case, the responsible person is aware and taking action to comply with the fire risk assessment, which has been brought about because the fire risk assessor is looking for these issues, in addition to this, manager checks that the music mutes every Monday on their statutory weekly test.
Till next time! Stay plugged in,