Fire Alarm Maintenance — The Only Way to Be Sure Your System’s Armed and Ready
Protecting commercial facilities and keeping customers and employees safe is a high priority for any business. Probably the most important safety equipment at your facility is the fire alarm system. This equipment is necessary to protect human life and tangible assets. A regular program of fire alarm maintenance is critical to keeping this essential system functioning correctly.
In general, a commercial fire alarm system can be expected to last for 10 to 15 years. With regular maintenance, however, you can extend the life of your fire alarm equipment beyond this range while still receiving reliable protection. Remember, however, that as systems age and more wear accumulates, it may be necessary to have testing, maintenance and repair performed more frequently.
What causes fire alarm problems?
Both nature and humans can be the source of fire alarm damage, malfunctions and failures. Any fire alarm maintenance program should include a thorough inspection to look for problems caused by:
- Accumulated dust, dirt, oil or other contamination.
- Damage that has occurred during construction, remodeling, expansion or daily business operations.
- Damage or impediments to wiring or components caused by animals or insects, such as mouse chews or bird nests.
- Electrical voltage fluctuations or power surges.
- Moisture or humidity.
- Temperature extremes and fluctuations.
- Vandalism, mistreatment or neglect of the system.
- Improper or incorrect maintenance.
- Missing or disconnected wiring and system components.
- Unavoidable aging, wear and deterioration.
Fire Alarm Maintenance Is About More Than Safety
Apart from the benefits to safety and continued business operations, fire alarm maintenance also may be needed to satisfy the requirements of other factors that influence your company’s daily functions.
- Insurance: It’s likely that your insurance company will require regular fire alarm maintenance and inspections. Check with your insurance provider for specific requirements, but annual inspections and maintenance are usually satisfactory. If you don’t meet these requirements, you could invalidate your insurance policy.
- Legal liability: Regular fire alarm maintenance also helps protect you from legal liability if a fire causes injury or loss of life or property. Consult your insurance provider or legal representative for details.
- Local and state codes: Annual inspections and maintenance visits also probably will be a requirement of your local and state authorities. Municipalities usually require that fire alarms be maintained according to local codes and ordinances. You may be required to meet industry-wide standards such as those contained in the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 25 and NFPA 72 codes.
Fire Alarm Maintenance Tips and Suggestions
You should contact your local trusted safety and security system provider for annual fire alarm maintenance. As you plan your maintenance program, keep the following tips in mind:
Make sure your fire alarm service professional is trained and qualified to do the job. It’s best if the service technician has knowledge of the specific type of fire alarm system you have, whether obtained through factory-sponsored training or other education. Another reliable indicator of technician ability is certification in fire alarm maintenance by the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET),
Consider a service contract or priority service plan. When your fire alarm system is not working correctly, it’s extremely important that you get it checked and back in service as quickly as possible.
Make sure building occupants know that fire alarm maintenance and testing is being conducted. This will take the scare out of any sound from the fire alarm and alert them to be more aware of possible fires during system downtime.
Document the inspection: Maintain all appropriate and required documentation of the testing and maintenance. Make sure these documents are available at all times in case of site inspection or records request by local authorities.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial and Residential settings. For more information about fire alarm maintenance and how it can protect your commercial facility, and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website! We provide quality services in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.