Refocusing on Fire Detectors and Sensors

Technology helps lower risk


Looking At Fire Alarm Technology There Is A Big Difference Between Professionally Installed Equipment, As Opposed To Equipment Installed By Homeowners Or Non-Professionals. It Is Important For Security Alarm Dealers To Bring This Message Of Fire Safety To Your Customers. Educate Them On The Importance Of Professionally Installed Equipment And Re-Iterate The Role Smoke Detectors Play In Saving Lives.

The end user's responsibility is to properly maintain the equipment or have a service maintenance agreement in place with you. Customers need to understand that their fire alarm equipment's proper working performance is based on regular inspections, tests, and maintenance performed by professionals. Part of the process is to ensure to the greatest extent that the premises equipment is not only cleaned and functional but that the communications link between the premises and the central station is working and reliable.

Several situations have had an enormous impact on alarm communications, which should put this detail on the top of every dealer integrator's list of concerns. These situations are, of course, the AMPS sunset, and the move away from PSTN, POTS, land lines, or whatever other buzzword you wish to use.

Customers are having their phone equipment altered by those who could care less about security communications. It's the alarm dealer's responsibility to stay informed and do whatever it takes to protect their clients from themselves.

Several new technologies are helping to redefine security and safety. For example, there is exciting new technology that is now scanning environments for CO as a product of combustion to provide earlier detection and improve the reliability of fire detection systems. It is in your best interest to explore the new marketing possibilities that environmental monitoring systems offer the dealer.

You also have to consider the importance of protecting alarm equipment from vandalism as a first line defense against system malfunctions. Furthermore, the new products we present this month accommodate both the end users' aesthetics as well as the security professionals' obsession with value, reliability and ease of installation.

Avoiding Fire System Failure

Smoke alarms most often fail because of missing, disconnected or dead batteries. It seems clear that occupants of structures without smoke detectors and those with non-supervised and battery-operated smoke detectors are at a far greater risk than those individuals with supervised and maintained smoke detectors.

Here are some installation and maintenance tips courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):

• Install smoke alarms on every level of a home or commercial building including the basement. In residential settings make sure that there is an alarm outside every separate sleeping area. New homes are required to have a smoke alarm in every sleeping room and all smoke alarms must be interconnected.

• Smoke alarms can be interconnected so that every alarm sounds regardless of the fire's location. This is an advantage in early warning, because it gives occupants extra time to escape if they are in one part of the home and a fire breaks out in another part.

• If you sleep with bedroom doors closed, have a qualified electrician install interconnected smoke alarms in each room so that when one alarm sounds, they all sound.

• For deaf or hard of hearing clients, consider installing an alarm that combines flashing lights, vibration and/or sound.

• Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings (remember, smoke rises). Ceiling mounted alarms should be installed at least four inches away from the nearest wall; wall-mounted alarms should be installed four to 12 inches away from the ceiling.

• If you have ceilings that are pitched, install the alarm near the ceiling's highest point.

• Don't install smoke alarms near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation.

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