Even though fire alarm systems are a necessary addition to any business and the vast majority of businesses have them, the importance of choosing the right system should not be taken for granted. Fire alarm systems, particularly with the advent of new technologies are getting more advanced and coming with more options. This has resulted in tangible benefits: Warehouse fires have dropped significantly, from 4,700 in 1980 to 1,200 in 2011. Some may be right for your situation and some may be unnecessary bells and whistles. Figuring out what you need will be the first step in the shopping when considering fire alarm installation. Also important is knowing how the system should be set up and used to provide fire protection for you and your business. The benefits and features of fire alarm systems available on the market today can help you get an idea of what you want, what you need, and what you may be willing to forego.
They Can Be Strategically Positioned
Most jurisdictions have specific requirements as to the location of certain elements of fire alarm systems. However, there is leeway. The key is to choose locations that are 1. compliant with local building codes and 2. both convenient and effective for the needs of your business. The local building codes are easy enough to come by if you inquire at your local building department. A note of caution, however: Do not take the contractor’s word for it. If codes have recently changed—and they tend to—the contractor may not be aware, and this may result in your building being non-compliant. A quick call or trip down to your municipality’s fire department can provide the answers you need. Making the location of the fire alarm system elements convenient is also important. If your business has a double height, or vaulted ceiling, this is particularly crucial. Cleaning the system or having it serviced will be exponentially easier if everything is easy to access. A double height may require costly or risky ladders, so try to position things so they can be accessed without any trouble.
Remote Monitoring Capabilities
Today’s fire alarm systems can come equipped with the ability to give you information about fires in your business when you are far from your building. This can come in handy in a practical way if you would like to get back to your business as soon as possible after a fire has started. However, beyond this convenience, it can also provide you with peace of mind. While out with family or friends, you don’t have to worry about whether your business is safe. You won’t have to be concerned that you are going to drive up to a smoking building as you get back business—all because you have the ability to be alerted in the event of a fire.
When a fire is detected, some older systems would often alert the entire building but without adequately identifying the location of the problem. Modern fire alarm design allows for the issue to be pinpointed—right down to the exact room in the building. This is not only useful for you as the business owner, however. The information can also be communicated to the local fire department. Instead of them just barging in and rummaging around to find the source of the fire, they will be able to efficiently enter the building and head straight for the problem. It can help the investigation phase, pinpointing the location of the initial issue to narrow down the cause of the blaze. Giving fire professionals more information can help them to ensure their own safety as well as yours.
Advanced Communication Options
Fire alarm systems can also communicate vital info to the fire brigade. This can be done via an automatic call. If you are not at your place of business and a fire starts, there may be no way for the fire department to be notified unless someone happens to drive or walk by and then call. But if they are automatically alerted, they can come right away and deal with the problem.
Whether it’s cutting edge communication, location reporting or remote monitoring, there are many fire alarm system options available to a business owner. Properly position the components of the system and rest easy.