If you’re in the market for a new fire alarm system, there are several factors to keep in mind. These factors include the system type you’d like to purchase, whether you want an addressable or hard-wired system, and whether you’d like to add audible or visual notification appliances. You’ll also want to ensure that the system you buy is compatible with your building’s wiring.
There are two types of local fire alarm systems: hard-wired and wireless. Hard-wired systems use physical copper wires to connect detectors to the central processing unit (CPU), also known as an alarm control panel. Hard-wired systems are considered more reliable because they don’t rely on batteries. They also have a more secure connection.
Wireless systems are often faster to install than hard-wired systems. However, they can be a little more expensive because they require less labor. The downside of hard-wired systems is that they can be difficult to conceal in brick and are also more difficult to remove when moving. That’s why they are not recommended for short-term rentals and are usually only used for new construction. On the other hand, wireless systems don’t require drilling into existing materials and dramatically reduce labor in existing spaces.
A fire alarm system that uses an addressable system can be customized to the device’s location. These systems are usually more expensive than conventional systems, but they are more reliable. They also come with additional diagnostic and detection capabilities. They can be easily expanded to multiple locations. In addition to the standard functions, addressable systems may include a voice evacuation system.
In large buildings, addressable fire alarm systems are especially useful. These systems can pinpoint the exact location of a fire, which is important for many reasons. For example, addressable fire alarm systems can delay the sounding of the alarm to allow occupants in neighboring areas to evacuate in the opposite direction.
Visible and audible notification appliances
Visible and audible notification appliances are critical components of a local fire alarm system. When a fire is detected, they sound an alarm and are typically installed with the required smoke detectors or manual pull stations. Fire alarm engineers must select the proper notification appliances for each location, considering ambient sound levels, the physical size of each location, and whether the location is private.
Generally, audible notification appliances must be designed to provide adequate warning and specific instructions to the building’s occupants. However, it is important to consider the specific requirements of the emergency response team.
The cost of installing a local fire alarm system can vary greatly. The price of a system depends on the square footage of a building and the number of floors. A building that has multiple floors and a complex layout will cost more. The cost of a system will also increase if the system must be retrofitted to an older building. The type of equipment needed also plays a large role in the cost.
In addition to fire detection, fire alarm systems require regular testing to ensure they are working properly. Failure to do this could result in the system being ineffective in a fire. The devices transmit a signal to an operator, who contacts the nearest fire department. The system also uses analog telephone lines to signal nearby fire departments.
Compliance with state codes
A few steps should be followed to ensure your fire alarm system complies with state codes. The first step is to determine what codes apply to your system type. The second step is to check if your current system is compliant. If it is, you may have to make some changes. It may be necessary to contact the local fire inspector or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). If the system is in a new building, you may also need to meet the General Services Administration (GSA) Facilities Standard P-100. This will avoid the need for costly upgrades or modifications to an existing system.