To enhance and improve your commercial building fire protection plan, you need to know the different types of fire alarms to choose for your business. Aside from the actual fire alarm system, it’s just as important to select a reliable fire monitoring service.
Fire alarms are devised to protect your business assets from potentially devastating and damaging fires. They are designed to detect heat, smoke, and other signs or indicators that there is an active fire with your commercial premises. Fires can engulf a property in minutes; thus, every second counts.
The better your fire alarm system is, the greater the security and protection you can provide your business. A well-designed and a well-installed system is capable of alerting you and the monitoring company as quickly as possible. There are several different types of fire alarms on the market today.
When choosing the right type of fire alarm for your commercial building, you need to consider the following factors:
- Size: What is the size of your establishment? How many levels are there?
- Location: Are you located in a remote area or a busy, high-trafficked site?
- Industry: What type of business or service do you offer?
- Features: What specific features, requirements, and preferences do you demand your fire alarm system to have?
Another important consideration you must keep in mind is to check with your local jurisdiction regarding fire safety regulation that your commercial property must follow.
What are the different kinds of fire alarm systems?
Automatic and Manual Systems
Manual and automatic are the two types of fire alarms systems. Automatic systems promptly send a notification to the commercial fire alarm monitoring provider as soon as smoke or fire is detected. Manual systems, on the other hand, work the opposite as automatic systems. They need a person to activate the fire alarm in key locations.
Addressable fire alarm systems designate a zone or section to have its own fire alarm. This fire alarm is connected to the main panel. This system allows you to see what alarm in which zone was disturbed. This feature allows you to notify first responders what area of your commercial building needs to be prioritized.
This type of fire alarm system can all either in the manual or automatic classification. Similar to the addressable fire alarm systems, conventional ones divide the commercial establishment into zones or sections. Each zone gets installed with a single fire alarm that is connected to the main fire alarm panel.
Different types of fire alarms systems allow you to add expanded options onto them. These options will let you tailor the alarm system to fulfill the needs and demands of your commercial building adequately. Some of these expansions include:
- Ventilation – proper ventilation can reduce or remove fumes and smoke on the site. This will help first responders in their evacuation efforts.
- Sprinklers – sprinkler systems automatically distribute either a chemical fire retardant or when they detect a fire.
- Containment Systems – these systems can be set to lock down areas of the building to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading any further.
Choosing a Fire Protection Company
Knowing the different types of fire alarms for your commercial building is essential. Choosing the fire alarm service provider to work with is just as crucial. You never want to cut corners. You also want to make sure you’re picking to best.
You can evaluate fire alarms service providers by the following criteria:
Fire alarm specialists you’re considering working with should be certified with the National Institute for Certifications in Engineering Technologies (NICET). Additionally, fire alarm technicians should have a minimum of five to six years of professional experience in working with different types of fire alarms. Reputable fire alarm service providers will only employ NICET-certified technicians with at least five years of experience.
A shady, unsafe fire alarm company will put your business at grave risk. To reduce these risks, go online and check the company’s OSHA 300A records for the past three or four years. Furthermore, investigate whether the fire alarm company has its own fire protection plan.
The three primary services that fire protection service providers should provide are fire alarm installation, repairs and maintenance, and monitoring. After the initial setup, you may need an upgrade or an entirely new installation down the line. Thus, it’s a bonus if the fire alarm company you initially worked with can provide these services.