Every 23 seconds, a fire department responds to a fire in the United States and building occupants have on an average of less than 3 minutes to escape a fire. There are approximately 7,410 structure fires in eating and drinking establishments each year, according to a NFPA report based on data between 2010 and 2014. While the frequency of commercial fires has decreased slightly over the last few years, the actual cost of fire related property damage has increased dramatically.
Fire alarm monitoring is a critical part of a fire protection system, but they are only useful when used properly. When a fire alarm goes off in your building, monitoring ensures that the signal is quickly assessed to verify that it’s not a false alarm and then transmitted to first responders within minutes. Business owners can be confident that even if a fire breaks out when their building is unoccupied, it will still be quickly reported to emergency services, saving money in property damage.
There are some building types that may not require for their fire alarm system to be monitored, however, we always recommend adding this service to your building. The fire alarm in your building is designed solely to identify that a fire exists and prompt people to get out of the building, they do not automatically notify the fire department of the alarm. This means that if the fire alarm is activated, the fire department may not by notified until someone calls 9-1-1. However, when fire alarm monitoring is present, it ensures that the fire department is always dispatched as soon as the alarm activates. Here are just a few ways to ensure that your fire alarm system will help save lives if that day comes:
1. Initial Installation
Make sure that the fire alarm installation is done correctly. If this is done wrong, nothing will function as it should.
2. Fire Drills
Monthly fire drills not only prepare people for a fire, but they also ensure that the system is working correctly. Holding fire drills can make sure that proper protocols are followed.
There are certain regulations that designate where fire alarms and sprinklers need to be placed. You need to know what these regulations are for your specific city, state, and structure before getting started. Sometimes smoke or steam from bathrooms or kitchens can set off an alarm, so you want to make sure that you have placed the alarms and sprinklers properly, as well as have a safe procedure for kitchens and bathrooms.
As with everything, fire alarm systems need to be maintained. Sensors must be tested and calibrated as well as the sensitivity levels, batteries, and inputs. Sprinklers will need gauges and valves checked and monitored.
If you’re interested in learning more about fire alarms, call Valiant Security today.