Why You Should Upgrade Your Life Safety Systems
Upgrading the fire alarm system in your facility is first and foremost about life safety.
MATTER OF LIFE / DEATH
Investing in newer, more reliable, and capable fire technology can make all the difference when there’s an event, including saving lives and protecting property. When fires are detected in the earliest stages, first responders can be alerted faster while being armed with more exact and advanced intel on the situation. The risk of tragedy dramatically decreases with early warning.
Regular false alarms pose a hidden life-safety risk. It may be time to replace your temperamental system, especially if the detectors have exceeded the manufacturer-recommended lifespan. You want building occupants to trust and heed the system, evacuating when an alarm occurs.
Codes change and communication technologies evolve. Don’t rely on telephone landlines! This less-reliable communication medium is being replaced in newer systems by superior and sometimes double-safe redundant alarm transmission methods such as radio, cell networks, and IP communications over the internet.
In addition to saving lives, there are economic and operational efficiencies for organizations to consider. Avoid choosing a fire alarm brand that can only be serviced and maintained by a single entity. Some national companies with poor reputations exhibit a pattern of gouging once the system has been installed. Being locked into a business relationship with a manufacturer with branch offices means that if they are too busy to serve you, no one else can. Parts are only available from one source, and in many cases at exorbitant prices. These problems mean both time and money, which translates to safety risks for property and potential loss of life in an uncontrolled fire.
Energy efficiency is another advantage of the newer fire alarm and detection systems. These systems must operate 24 hours a day. Energy and cost savings from an upgrade can be significant. Dedicated and costly telephone landlines, in many cases, are only being retained for the fire alarm.
LEGAL / COMPLIANCE
Fire systems must be inspected with specific frequency in accordance with chapter 14 of NFPA 72, the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. It is the law. Upgrading to new technology can afford you more efficient and reliable procedures, plus superior reporting options. Full compliance will be easy to demonstrate when the fire marshal appears, clipboard in hand. These required periodic system tests/inspections can disrupt your business operations and impede productivity if not done quickly and properly. Systems built with newer hardware and software include tools that speed and streamline the testing process, reduce the number of personnel required to perform it, as well as produce instant reports that can be electronically accessed or reproduced at any time. Full fire code compliance can more easily be achieved and demonstrated to the fire authorities and insurance companies with newer systems on the market today. In some cases, liability insurance providers will quote lower rates for modern early warning systems because the losses are likely to be lower or prevented altogether.
We all want information at our fingertips and we want to be informed and prepared. An upgrade for your aging system can mean new and comprehensive system status information is at your fingertips. Maintenance or alarm alerts can now be received via an app on a mobile device, sent by text message, or viewed on any internet-connected computer.
When your system is part of the means of record keeping, supported by internet cloud technology, paper files are a thing of the past. For example, this can include tracking your schedule for replacing smoke detectors when they have reached the end of the manufacturer’s recommended life span, or setting reminder notifications for maintenance and inspection of related systems, such as fire extinguishers.
Versatile communication and record-keeping database platforms now exist which can transform your system into a success story of operational efficiency, confidence in code compliance, and minimize downtime during scheduled inspections or real events. You’ll have the ability to know at all times what is happening with your system.
An upgraded and integrated fire safety system will assure your staff, tenants, and visitors that your facility is safe, up-to-date, and code compliant.
When it comes to fire safety, SECONDS COUNT. Newer technologies deliver highly detailed information more quickly to you and your tenants, as well as to first responders. Invest wisely to protect your people, your property, and your data.