Property Surveillance: The Basics

Tips For Ensuring Your Facility's Fire Alarm System Is Effective

Installing fire alarm systems is only the first step in protecting your facility and the people inside from a disastrous situation. Periodic testing and maintenance is also necessary to ensure the fire alarm system will be effective when it's needed. Even worse, perhaps, is when the fire alarm continually goes off when there are no signs of fire or smoke, essentially becoming increasingly dangerous because people inside the building think the system is just crying wolf again and will not take heed to the warnings. Here are a few important things to do to ensure your facility's fire alarm system functions as it should. 

Make sure the proper devices are installed for your facility's specific needs

It's important to properly install the correct devices that are specific to your facility's needs. When it comes to fire detection and protection, one size does not fit all when it comes to various types of facilities. For example, a warehouse facility that stores highly combustible items will have a different set of requirements from a restaurant or a hospital. Heat and smoke sensors need to be placed in areas of the greatest concern, which is why it's crucial that you hire a professional fire protection engineer to install your fire alarm system. 

Test the fire alarm system periodically, according to federal, state, and local fire safety codes

It's important to test your fire alarm system, not only so your facility stays within the mandatory regulation requirements, but also to be certain the system will offer protection at the most crucial time. Most installation services offer service contracts to their customers for these crucial inspections of the systems. Of course, you'll want to be sure the contract meets the federal, state, and local fire safety code requirements for your particular location. Schedule the testings to make sure you don't miss any required deadlines. 

Investigate any and all false alarms

Should your fire alarm system ever go off for no apparent reason, investigate why. There may be too much dust on a particular sensor or an inoperable battery in the system. Wired systems may have a disconnected or loose wire somewhere, and wireless systems may have loss of signal. Sometimes, the system needs to be reconfigured or the control panel replaced. Your fire protection engineer will evaluate the system to determine why it sounds false alarms and make any necessary repairs or replacements to the system.