Monitored Smoke Detectors for Your BusinessJanuary 15th, 2020
Smoke detectors save lives. The sounding alarms alert or wake up people in the building, drawing their attention to the presence of smoke in the building allowing them to get out fast. But what if you aren’t there to hear the alarm? As the old saying goes, “if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Does it matter if no one can hear it? Yes, well at least in the case of your smoke detector you want to be sure the alarm is heard regardless if someone is onsite to hear it or not.
When you install monitored smoke detectors in your place of business, whether it’s required or not, you can rest assured that even if a fire breaks out after hours, our central monitoring station will alert you and authorities of the situation, which could save you a tremendous amount of time and money.
Installing Smoke Detectors
Fire alarm systems can be extremely complicated, and the need depends greatly on the type of business you operate, the design of your building and the local code requirements. Many businesses are required to have a fire alarm system of some type in place. This could involve fire sprinklers, pull boxes and more. When you hire a security company, their team of professionals will be able to guide you through the process of determining needs based on code requirements, filing for necessary permits and engineering a system that will help protect your business, its employees and customers.
Smoke detectors are most commonly required for business locations that have guests or customers sleeping in the facility, such as hospitals or hotels. Although they aren’t always required by regulation, it is a smart business decision to install monitored smoke detectors to protect your business.
For many small and medium sized businesses, like a small retail store or pizza shop, protecting your business from extensive fire damage can be as easy as installing a system of wireless smoke detectors which are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. With monitored wireless smoke detectors you are not only alerted of smoke, but also of low batteries or when a battery is removed from a device. Even though these systems are easier to install, you should still be aware of regulations in your area. Skip to the regulations section of this article to learn more.
Smoke Detectors vs. Fire Sprinklers
Many locations are required to have a fire sprinkler system in place (but not smoke detectors). However, we encourage you to install a smoke detector system in conjunction with the fire sprinkler system. Here’s why. A fire sprinkler will help contain a fire into a smaller area, saving you from extensive property damage, but the trigger for a fire sprinkler system could be temperatures up to 155 degrees. Depending on your ceiling heights, by the time the temperature reaches those levels you could already have a blazing fire underway. In many scenarios a smoke detector will alert you of a situation before a fire sprinkler or a heat sensor, allowing all occupants of the building to safely escape the fire before it becomes large and deadly.
Maintaining and Inspecting Smoke Detectors
In most areas, inspections of fire alarm and smoke detectors are required. This is essential for making sure your equipment is working the way it needs to. When smoke detectors get dirty, it can reduce their ability to detect smoke or trigger a false alarm. Inspections include visual inspections, functionality tests and sensitivity testing. Your security company will let you know what inspections are required for your particular business. After the inspection is complete, your security company will let you know of any deficiencies. Be certain to fix any issues promptly to make sure your system is working as intended.
Smoke detectors are not the best solution for areas that are inherently dirty. If a manufacturing plant or warehouse is prone to producing a lot of dust and debris a heat sensor may be a better solution for that area. Excessive dirt in smoke detectors can cause malfunction or trigger false alarms.
If you purchase or lease a building with monitored smoke detectors already in place, you should have the system inspected and fix any deficiencies you are made aware of. You should also re-program the monitoring to a security company that you trust and plan to use for inspections and maintenance in the future.
Regulations for Fire Safety
You should research your local codes and permit requirements when starting a new business or purchasing property to run a business out of. There are many factors that go into determining what type of fire system you will be required to install, maintain and inspect in order to operate in compliance with the code.
You don’t want to skimp when it comes to smoke detectors, there are regulations as to how many smoke detectors you need to install, distances from one device to the other and device placement within the building. These regulations are in place to ensure that your system will work as it was originally intended. A single smoke detector in a central location is not enough to protect you.
This may sound complicated and overwhelming, but when you hire a trustworthy, experienced security company, they can assist you in determining your needs and help with sourcing the appropriate documentation for filing permits. They will also let you know what inspections will be required.
Select Security has a team of highly experienced, qualified professionals on hand to engineer a system for fire safety. From monitored smoke alarms to sprinkler systems, our NICET certified design team is ready to help. Our designers and technicians have the training required to deliver UL listed fire alarm systems. Why does that matter? Because we stand by our work and it meets consumer safety standards.
Ready to get started? Contact Select Security today to learn more about your options for monitored smoke detectors.