Why cheapest isn’t always best

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    Fire protection equipment is now readily available online as well as from catalogues and while there is no right or wrong way to source your fire protection equipment there are some useful guidelines which will help ensure that your purchasing decisions make sound sense and protect you and your business should things go wrong.

    A key requirement no matter where you purchase from, is to buy products – and especially fire extinguishers - that comply with a third-party accreditation such as the British Standards Kitemark and the internationally recognised BRE LPCB Mark. It is worth noting that the CE Mark on its own - although a good thing to have - is not a guarantee of product quality where fire safety products are concerned, so ensure that what you are buying has least one of the above fire safety standard marks as well.

    On the face of it, some of the prices shown online and in catalogues may seem to offer good value for money but when buying a product like a fire extinguisher for example, you need to be aware of potential hidden costs such as the following:

    Customer service & product knowledge
    If you know exactly which type of extinguisher/s you require, you may not need much in the way of customer service support at the point of sale. However, some online providers state that their products may be substituted for a similar product, so how would you know if this has happened? Or perhaps the site is out of stock of the extinguisher – would you be confident in taking the suggested alternative product or in finding a like for like product yourself on the site or in the catalogue?

    Liability insurance
    Have you checked that the internet or catalogue supplier has liability and efficacy insurance? In other words, who will you claim from if the product is faulty or doesn’t work?

    Warranties
    If you are buying a fire extinguisher, does it come with a five-year product guarantee? This is worth checking as the warranty may only be for 12 months from date of purchase.

    Delivery and returns
    What are the delivery charges and what is the returns policy? It’s expensive and time consuming to return extinguishers to the supplier if you order the wrong equipment!

    Fire Depot Free Delivery

    Damage in transit
    With a fire extinguisher, there is always the potential for damage in transit if it is not packaged correctly. In this case, you will have the inconvenience of packing and returning the damaged extinguisher/s possibly at your own cost.

    Conclusion
    It is unfortunate but true that the real cost of buying fire protection equipment from a non-proven source will only become known when the equipment is needed in a real fire situation.  In the event of a fire, both the Fire Authorities and the insurance company will require proof of your competency as the supplier and maintainer of the firefighting equipment and if you are unable to show that you have at least met the recognised standard codes of practice for the provision of firefighting equipment, this could mean you will be prosecuted.

    Purchasing third party accredited and BAFE approved fire protection equipment from a proven source with appropriate liability and efficacy is the only way to ensure you will be purchasing a quality product and therefore protecting both your own and your customer’s business.

    Life is precious and property and assets matter, so at Fire Depot we make it our mission to provide quality, approved fire protection products at competitive prices with 24 hour guaranteed delivery. We have achieved ISO9001 approval every year since 1999 and hold a licence for the prestigious British Kite Mark and the internationally respected BRE LPCB mark

    For more fire safety product information, fire safety advice and fire equipment recommendations, visit www.firedepot.co.uk or call us on 0330 999 2233 to speak to our friendly team of experts.

    Sources: The UK Fire Association, The Fire Industry Association (FIA)

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