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February 21, 2022

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Five reasons for moving to digital logbooks in fire safety

In this article Jason Hill, Sales Manager at Tio, shares five reasons why businesses should consider moving to the new generation of digital fire logbooks in 2022.

Jason Hill, Sales Manager, Tio 

The humble paper fire logbook is a fixture of millions of buildings across the UK.

Despite its crucial role as a central record of fire safety actions and information, it is often inaccurate and incomplete. As the rest of the world and indeed many of the products and processes that maintain safety in our built environment become digital, Tio believe it is time for businesses to opt for a better, and safer, digital solution.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO), already requires the Responsible Person (RP) to ensure all fire safety equipment and devices are maintained in efficient working order, charging them with the safety of everyone on the premises at a given time.

An up-to-date fire logbook, while lacking definition in the RRFSO and FSA, is regularly and explicitly referred to in BS5839-1 and many other standards and codes of practice. Under the Fire Safety Act 2021 (FSA), the RP has a further obligation to provide evidence of actions taken to meet relevant fire regulations, requiring all fire safety work to be logged effectively.

Below, Tio offers five reasons why businesses should consider moving to digital fire logbooks in 2022:

1) Real-time visibility and management

Individuals with fire safety responsibilities might oversee anything from a single premises to portfolios containing thousands of buildings with a wide range of uses. Therefore, a paper logbook is both inconvenient to complete and hard to monitor.

A digital fire logbook, hosted in the Cloud, can be completed quickly and without error on site, and monitored and reviewed at any location. This means that a property manager based in Manchester can check that a fire logbook for a building in Aberdeen is full up to date, completed correctly, and full compliant with their duty of care for that building.

It also means that, if an accident were to take place, the logbook is not at risk of damage or loss, as it’s safely stored in the Cloud. The same manager can oversee their entire estate with aggregated performance, compliance and task data visible from a single premises up, and across teams.

2) Full audit trail, compliance task management and asset level safety

An audit trail is essential and the consequences of not having one could be criminal. A digital fire logbook enables businesses to view a full, detailed audit trail at all times. This includes a log of testing and maintenance in the building, but also which users have completed what actions, raised what tasks, or changed even small details of compliance systems and processes.

Tio’s digital logbook includes guidance, best practice, and full compliance task management for all users, from building owners to service providers and teams. It also allows the creation of asset registers and the tracking of maintenance, test and servicing from the level of an individual safety asset up.

3) Improved access and availability

A digital fire logbook can be accessed and updated in a number of ways, for example via an app or browser and additionally, in Tio’s case, can be accessed via a QR code (often on the fire panel), which means that any authorised person that requires access to the logbook can quickly and securely ensure access.

In this way, service providers, staff conducting weekly tests, RPs, FRAs and the Fire & Rescue Service, can access, monitor and update the logbook on site or remotely, making inspections and audits easier and more efficient. Digital logbooks can also be shared via email as PDFs or printed and handed over.

4) All fire and then more

A digital logbook can, and should, cover all areas of a paper logbook and many more besides. For example, Tio is not only limited to fire devices, but replaces logbooks and records across a range of fire, security and safety topics, such as security systems, ventilation, suppression and extinguishing, access control, emergency lighting, electrical, and gas and water safety.

Digital logbooks are preconfigured so the whole logbook and all its guidance and compliance task management is delivered in a click by selecting that safety area for a building. Digital does not have to be more expensive or more complicated than paper.

5) Digitised document storage and emergency contacts

Record keeping is more importance than ever, and, in the old paper-based world, that meant having lots of paper storage. Lots of paper is hard to organise, hard to access, difficult to inspect, and is often not kept up to date.

With a digital document storage, any and all associated documents can be quickly and easily uploaded to the Cloud and kept safe. Documents can be accessible to everyone with the right permissions, and, of course, any updates will be noted on the audit trail.

Notes of keyholders, variances and false alarms can also be kept up to date quickly and easily in a digital logbook – with everything readily available whenever you might need it.

Utilising a digital fire logbook has the potential to save lives, as well as making life simpler and less stressful for anyone involved in fire safety. In a world where compliance is rightly becoming more serious and complex, digital logbooks help businesses meet new challenges, swiftly and efficiently.

 

Fire Stoppers rolls out Tio’s digital fire logbook 

UK fire risk assessment consultancy and maintenance provider, Fire Stoppers, has become the latest organisation to specify Tio’s innovative True Digital Fire Logbook, with multiple sites already protected and hundreds to follow in premises across the company’s client portfolio.

The cloud-based solution has proven particularly popular with Fire Stoppers’ building managers and other clients who oversee multiple sites, helping them to monitor activity, get a macro or micro view of compliance, and effectively ensure that their legal obligations are being met.

James Soley, Director and Fire Safety Consultant at Fire Stoppers, said: “Paper logbooks are all very well, but they have clear limitations.

“Tio’s Digital Fire Logbook is simple to use, yet offers many sophisticated features. Compliance tasks for all parties are tracked and managed, with in-built guidance. Tio has applications far beyond that of a traditional logbook, such as the ability to see asset histories, digital document storage for building plans, and integrated compliance and performance dashboards.

“The feedback from our clients has been overwhelmingly positive and we can see the potential to roll out the Digital Fire Logbook across several hundred buildings where we look after the fire systems and oversee fire safety. For anyone working remotely, managing a portfolio or overseeing multiple buildings, it’s frankly a no-brainer.”

Jason Hill, Sales Manager at Tio Fire Safety, said: “Using a digital fire logbook is a gamechanger for our clients.

“It does everything that the traditional paper-based version can do, while adding multiple features and benefits that make life simpler for everyone involved. Our customers find it beneficial to have a cloud-based resource that can be accessed from any web-connected device, ensuring 100% compliance, creating an audit trail, and safeguarding the integrity of the information in any fire incident. Businesses like Fire Stoppers are finding it an invaluable tool that enhances performance and traceability, while also improving communications with clients.”

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