Fire alarm systems today are miles ahead of what people used to have back in the day. They are here to help save lives and businesses by ensuring everything is compliant, protected, and straightforward.
There are over a million fires per year across the United States in residential areas. These fires cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars. Fire alarm systems have been proven repeatedly to drastically reduce the impact a fire can have on a business, and we’re here to tell you why!
A modern fire alarm system could reduce insurance costs and increase insurance payout if something horrible were to occur. Additionally, some methods can prevent extensive damage during a fire, so that alone can save everyone across the board.
Businesses need fire alarm systems to protect lives, ensure businesses stay afloat, and insure assets.
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Why is a Fire Alarm System so Vital?
Fire alarm systems have graduated from the original loud noises and flashing lights. While they still include that, a modern fire alarm system can inform people of where to go, how severe the fire is, and alert the authorities.
Most insurance companies require a building to have some type of fire escape plan and fire alarm system in place for coverage in case of a fire. Insurance requires this because it saves lives and effectively reduces the amount of damage and casualties from a fire.
A proper fire alarm system will determine if the fire is more or less severe and inform the authorities accordingly. This more modern feature alone prevents unnecessary damage to the surrounding area and the building where the fire started because it can inform multiple fire departments if need be.
Fire alarms today are also automated. If there is an issue with the system, it will alert the maintenance people in the building that repairs are needed. This feature takes away some of the old worries about fire alarm systems not working when you want them to.
Having a fire alarm system in place is not only mandated by law and by insurance companies; it is genuinely a system that helps save lives!
Fire Alarm System Aspects
Systems to prevent and alert on fires have four aspects to them. They detect a fire when it is occurring. The system alerts people in the area of the fire.
Safety controls are initiated in the area the fire was detected, such as sprinklers or extinguishers. Lastly, the system will alert one or more nearby fire departments depending on the severity.
Each of these pieces creates a well-oiled machine built to detect, respond, and mitigate fire.
Fire Hazard Detection
There are various ways to detect a fire and the intensity of it. Fire alarm systems can be configured to detect fire in multiple ways or a single way, depending on the type of fire a business is likely to have.
The systems that you’re most likely familiar with are the smoke detectors, but a smoke detector can also determine the fire’s heat level and if the alarm needs to be sounded throughout the building. The other available options are for the system to alert and unlock a manual pull station, like a pull-down fire alarm.
The manual option allows a human to intervene if the fire is bad enough or not pull the leaver if they believe they can control the situation. A modern fire alarm system will detect the exact area the fire is in and alert people accordingly. This system allows for a smoother process when getting large groups of people out of a building.
If the people closest to the fire are alerted first, they will be the first ones out of the building. Fire alarm systems today can assist with evacuation and directing people, so everything runs smoothly.
The detection part of the system is critical because if it isn’t working correctly, the rest of the system is moot. Regular maintenance and a self-regulating system help identify this quickly.
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Audio and Visual Notification Fire Threat
Audio and visual signs are part of the fire alarm system that everyone knows. It is the design of what alerts go off when a fire or fire drill is occurring.
The options here are typically loud noises that grab everyone’s attention, pre-recorded alerts from management, or safety instructions offered by the company who installed the fire alarm.
These alerts both must grab people’s attention and guide them to the correct area away from the fire to safety.
Fire Alarm Control Systems
The fire alarm control systems are how the building reacts when there is a fire. Elevators can be shut down in affected areas to ensure no one is trapped. HVAC systems can be redirected or turned off to stop the spread of smoke throughout the building.
The control systems can also deem which areas are safe so that dangerous regions are blocked from entry. All of this ensures that people are pushed away from danger and toward the exit.
These systems are primarily built to isolate the problem and slow the fire down to give people as much time as possible to evacuate.
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Notification of Fire Authorities
Notifying authorities is the last part of the system that occurs. As mentioned before, multiple fire departments can be contacted depending on what the system detects.
This automation removes the need of the people experiencing the event to remember to contact someone to put it out. The notification of fire authorities also gets someone who can deal with fire to the site as soon as possible.
It may seem apparent that this is needed, but fire alarm systems have been proven to double the number of people saved when there is a catastrophic event in a building.
When disarming a system with modern technology, we recommend that only a few people know how to stop the system. We recommend this because in the past, when the system was too easy to disarm, people will disarm it just to stop the noise.
Only authorized personnel should have the ability to disarm the fire alarm system for this reason. Modern systems usually take a bit more to disarm anyway, so it will save training time!
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Invest in a Fire Alarm System Now
A fire alarm system is 100% necessary when employees’ concerns and business assets are the priority. It has been proven repeatedly that a fire alarm system saves people and property better than nearly every other detection system.
Checking with your current building owner and investing in a fire alarm system now is always what we’d recommend. Tristar Commercial Security is committed to helping your business and ensuring employees stay safe. If you have any questions at all, feel free to reach out.
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