Fire alarm systems consist of a variety of different pieces of technology that work in conjunction to notify people – both occupants within the facility, as well as fireman and police – when a potential fire has broken out inside the premises. Normally a fire alarm system will have smoke detectors and/or heat detectors scattered throughout the facility that are able to detect when smoke, fire, or carbon monoxide is present. When a potential fire is sensed by the system, an alarm is triggered throughout the building, which normally will be an audio alarm by way of bells, speakers, horns, or voice evacuation messages. At the same time, modern fire alarm systems will also notify the local fire and police agencies of the outbreak, thereby allowing the fastest possible response time.
Now, most buildings will have a compliance code that requires fire alarm systems to be properly set up in the facility. But besides this, designing your fire alarm system properly will have major advantages, for both you and your occupants. For, of course having a fire alarm system designed properly will keep the occupants safe in an emergency, but it will also help maintain any fire that might break out, thereby saving you costly repair bills. When it comes to properly designing your fire alarm system, there are three major considerations. Let us take a look at each one in turn.
Early Detection Technology
Firstly, you are going to want to make sure your system has intelligent and early detection technology. Most fire alarm systems these days have so-called ‘intelligent’ technology, which includes maintenance alerts, notifying you when an alarm has become dirty and needs to be cleaned out. This technology ensures that your system will always be operating top notch. It will also benefit you to have an alarm system with the best early detection technology, so that not only will the fire be sensed as early as possible, but also so the local fireman will automatically be notified, decreasing the time of the active fire.
Secondly, in designing your fire alarm system, you are going to want to make sure that all of the building occupants will be able to clearly hear the alarm if activated. Therefore, you have to make sure that the sound of the alarm will reach every area of the building, and reach it clearly. Furthermore, in cases where some occupants are hard of hearing, you need to make the necessary adjustments. You need to make sure the volume of the alarm is loud enough so all can hear it, or in some cases, you can add a visual notification along with the audio.
Reducing False Alarms
Finally, you want to think about reducing false alarms. There are several reasons why you want to make it a main priority that your alarm system is not triggered by false alarms. Firstly, fire departments hold the building owner responsible for their trips to the building, and if they are summoned by a false alarm, that will cost the owner. Secondly, false alarms will cause downtime in the production of the facility, as it will require occupants to evacuate. Finally, if occupants continually hear false alarms, they may become desensitized, and no longer take the alarm seriously.
For more information on fire protection system design, contact Balanced Comfort today!