Are your home or work premises suitably protected against fire? By making structural changes to your building, you may be able to reduce the risk of a fire or make it easier to escape in the event of one.

Just what are some of the modifications you can make to a building to make it safer? Here we’ll look at 7 examples.

Smoke alarms

It’s legally compulsory for all rented homes and commercial buildings to have working smoke alarms. Most buildings have smoke alarms, but these are rarely tested. However, it’s important to test them every year to make sure that they’re still working.

Multiple smoke alarms and fire alarm systems can be useful in larger buildings where a single smoke alarm may not be enough. There are various alarm systems that you can look into including manual alarm systems that can be pressed if a fire is detected.

Fire doors

Fire doors are made from specialist materials in order to withstand fire as long as possible. These doors can help trap fires in certain areas of your home to stop them from spreading as fast.

Most commercial buildings contain fire doors. However, you can use fire doors within residential properties too.

Exterior fire escapes

Exterior fire escapes can be worth installing to help people get down safely from upper levels — especially if an interior staircase is on the opposite side of a building. These typically consist of metal staircases leading from a fire escape door.

Fire escapes are typically made from steel and can be engineered in various styles, from spiral to straight staircases. Fire escape ladders are an alternative option.

Fire exit signs

Fire exit signs can help people who may not be familiar with the building to safely find an exit during a fire. They are legally required in complex commercial buildings.

Consider whether strangers would be able to easily find the exit in your building in the event of a fire and whether you need to add signs to help guide people out. These signs are typically not necessary in homes.

Overhead sprinklers

Some buildings have overhead sprinkler systems that are designed to turn on in the event of a fire to help extinguish it. These can be useful in larger buildings to stop the spread of a fire.

Most traditional systems use water, however, you can buy fire suppression systems that dispense foam (commonly used in commercial kitchens). Consider whether you could benefit from investing in such a system.

Dry risers

Dry risers are empty pipes that firefighters can use to help get water to upper levels. Buildings that are more than six stories typically require them.

There are companies that can carry out dry riser installation for you. The complexity of a dry riser system is likely to depend on the complexity of the building.

RCD sockets

RCD sockets are designed to trip and cut power if a fault is detected. This can help prevent electrical shocks and fires caused by faulty outlets.

Most modern buildings have these sockets installed. However, many older buildings are unlikely to have these sockets, which could put you at greater risk of an electrical fire. Consider hiring an electrician to install these sockets.