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Fire Alarm Systems Basics

Your property is too important to go without a fire alarm system. Whether you’re looking to protect your home, your business, or some non-residential property, you simply can’t afford to ignore fire safety. Whether you’re building or upgrading, consider the following fire alarm systems basics to make sure that you’re giving your property the protection is deserves.

Smoke Detectors

The most basic aspect of all fire alarm systems is the smoke detector. Every house should have several – at least one per 1,000 square feet of living space. Inexpensive, easy to install, and low-maintenance, it’s no surprise that public construction requirements use smoke detectors frequently and in as many places as logically makes sense to keep a group of people safe.

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A smoke detector is the most basic aspect of your fire alarm system.

Smoke detectors should be placed in key points to alert people in danger of a fire. If you have a kitchen or high-heat area, your smoke detector should be near the exit, on the exterior, where people in other parts of the building can be easily alerted about a problem in that area.

For residential homes or commercial properties with sleeping quarters, there should be at least smoke detector near the area that enters to the bedrooms. You might consider putting additional smoke detectors in that area of the property, if the hallways are long or exiting can be difficult. Make sure that you place the smoke detector somewhere that it gives people plenty of notice, so that they can escape when necessary.

Fire Alarms

There are a range of fire alarm systems. Basics differences exist, of course, but there are a few key designs that will make properties of all sizes safe.

Conventional Fire Alarm Systems Basics

Conventional fire alarms include a panel with a noisy alarm and possibly a visual signal that alerts people nearby when there is danger. These alarms may or may not be directly connected to the local fire station, and you can choose to have them monitored around the clock.

There’s benefits to having a visual and an auditory alarm – as it can keep people who might be disabled more safe than an alarm that only makes noise. (There’s even a new type of fire alarm being developed in Japan that will spray a fine mist of Wasabi when triggered by a fire – it helps wake people and is noticeable by both blind and deaf people. A true life saver!) Although there may be drawbacks to different types of alarms as well – because they may cost more or require more upkeep and maintenance. Overall the benefits outweigh any potential downsides.

Addressable Fire Alarm Systems Basics

Addressable fire alarms are those response systems that can do more than just throw off an alarm. Addressable fire alarm systems respond in some way to the dangers at hand. Often used in large and commercial buildings where public safety is a concern, they are also the best systems to place in places with chemicals, flammable materials, and high concentration of people. These suppression systems can use water, foam, or other chemicals to smother the heat and stop flames in their tracks. Additionally, if you have an advanced HVAC system that responds to your suppression system’s engagement, ventilation should kick on immediately to clear out the air and reduce hazards caused by smoke or dangerous chemicals released by the fire.

Coded Fire Alarm Panels

In your options for fire alarm systems, there are several types that allow you to individually monitor and maintain different areas of your property. Should an alarm go off when there’s danger, your coded panel will automatically identify where the problem is and collect data that can be used by the fire department to fight the fire. Or your insurance company during your fire damage recovery process.

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Get to Know Your Fire Alarm System’s Basics

Whatever type of fire alarm system you choose – or if you install a combination of multiple types – get thorough training on how to use it. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. Make sure your monitoring is set up exactly how you want it. Empower your employees or family members who may also need to be responsible for maintaining the system and responding to any emergencies. By teaching everyone your fire alarm system’s basics, your property will be as safe as possible.