Fire alarms are one of the best lines of defense against fire safety in your home or business. With an electrical fire alarm system, you can safeguard yourself, your family, your business, and the millions of dollars in property that you care about. Fire alarms help to protect both property and lives. Still, they are not installed only as mere precautionary measures: building regulations mandate that every establishment have a working fire alarm system in place to stay operational. The cost of a system can be prohibitive for a small business, which is why many small business owners turn to security consultants to help them design and install the most effective system for their particular needs. Depending upon the type of business or residence, a consultant may suggest only some elements of a successful fire alarm system to help you save money while protecting your home or business.
To start, your fire alarm system should include an automatic fire sprinkler system. These units are designed to spray water on combustible materials that catch fire, stopping the fire and allowing it to subside naturally. In addition to controlling the fire, however, the sprinklers’ water helps reduce the carbon monoxide build-up that can cause serious health problems after a fire. Some fire sprinklers can even supply emergency electrical power to assist local fire departments when they arrive on the scene. An automatic fire sprinkler system should also incorporate a rapid-fire fire extinguisher, which releases a high-pressure stream of water at a rapid rate. These units are generally used in more significant buildings or businesses where people are more likely to be harmed by flames rather than smoke.
One of the essential features of your fire alarm system is the presence of emergency contacting devices at the four different levels of the building. When the alarm is triggered, these contacts act as a communication link between emergency personnel and the fire department. Fireline contacts, which are placed at the structure’s ground level, will automatically send the fire department any request for assistance. Window contacts, which are elevated within the structure and directly below the emergency contacts, will allow the personnel on the scene to initiate contact with the firefighting agency remotely. Lastly, smoke detector contacts are located on the second and seventh floors of the structure and can easily be reached by firefighters once they arrive on the scene. All emergency contacts have an automatic emergency call button installed, which can be pressed if necessary.
The key to a successful fire alarm system is implementing a smoke alarm system that works reliably for your business. For this reason, many companies will install their own separate smoke alarm detectors and control panels rather than using a third-party company’s equipment. However, there are several benefits to installing a central system with a local control panel and smoke detector detectors.
Centralization of fire alarm system components and monitoring allows for the monitoring and controlling of multiple alarms with separate components, such as sensors for heat, smoke, and carbon monoxide. This is significantly less expensive than servicing individual elements individually. Additionally, all fire alarm system components are connected to a central monitoring station through Ethernet or fiber connections, providing real-time reporting. These systems can also notify local fire departments, dispatch centers, and other emergency services. By giving all of these services at one location, fire alarm system monitoring allows your employees to respond quickly when a fire occurs within the workplace.
Another benefit of having a central fire alarm system is the ability to enforce an evacuation policy in the event of a fire. State law requires that you have at least one employee trained in the process of an evacuation. Most companies do not employ this option, however, and as a result, thousands of homes remain unoccupied each year because a homeowner did not initiate an emergency evacuation. An evacuation policy can be implemented in several different ways, and your system must include a mechanism that will enforce the policy.
Some home fire alarm systems also include smoke detectors, which can also help determine the presence of dangerous electrical fires in the home. Smoke detectors can also detect carbon monoxide leaks, which is a significant health risk in the home. Carbon monoxide detectors can be combined with smoke detectors to ensure that all occupants are evacuated safely from the house in the event of a problem.
As you can see, many different components make up a fire alarm system. Some of the services provided by your plan may protect your employees and your property. By integrating smoke detection with other services, you can provide a safe workplace while ensuring that your guests are aware of the possibility of a fire. In addition to fire safety, smoke detection can prevent your business from being targeted by criminals.