drones campus risk
Drone Risks and Your Unimutual Cover
May 21, 2019
Member Matters Issue #2, 2019
May 28, 2019

Impairments to Fire Protection Systems

INTRODUCTION

A protection impairment occurs when a fire (or explosion) prevention, protection, alarm or supervisory system is shut off, impaired or otherwise taken out of service completely or in part. The protective, alarm or supervisory function then cannot be met. Fire protection systems include sprinkler, water spray, carbon dioxide and clean agent systems. Two examples of protection impairments are: a valve supervisory device that is jammed and cannot function, and a sprinkler system that has been shut off in order to replace a sprinkler head. While process monitoring, control, safety and security-entry systems also serve protective functions, their impairment is not considered a protection impairment as defined herein.

While planned protection impairments may be necessary during maintenance, renovation and new construction, it must be understood that when any protection impairment occurs, the facility is in jeopardy. Many large losses might have remained small if the protection impairments had been properly managed. When an impairment is planned or occurs accidentally, precautionary measures are necessary to minimize the risk. These may include arranging temporary protection, reducing hazards and ensuring continual and speedy progress on restoration efforts.

At this moment, somewhere fire or explosion protective systems are impaired. Throughout industry, tens of thousands of impairments occur each year. In fact, several may occur at any one facility at any one time. Protection might be impaired for one of many reasons, such as maintenance, renovation, new construction, equipment failure, vandalism or malicious actions. Regardless of the reason, a facility is in jeopardy from fire that may start in an area covered by the impaired system.

There are three types of impairments: emergency; planned; and hidden. The likelihood of fire or explosion occurring while protection is impaired increases with the duration of the impairment. Thus, proper procedures must be followed to minimize the duration and scope of the planned and emergency impairments and to reduce the possibility of a hidden impairment.

For a copy of your Impairment Notification Form, tailored with your Member identification number and campus/locations, please contact us on 02 9247 7333 or email service@unimutual.com.au

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