If you are a business owner, you must have a code-compliant and working fire alarm system to protect customers and employees. The NFPA Codes dictate fire alarm system requirements. What’s important is that your employees understand the basic signals of the system and what to do if the system alarms. A fire alarm system is designed specifically to notify occupants if a fire occurs. It will also notify the central station which will call the fire department. Many employees and visitors to your building might be unaware of how to exit the building if the system alarms. Read on to learn more!
Initiating Devices with Your Fire Alarm System
Initiating devices activate your fire alarm system. This can happen automatically or manually, through smoke detectors, heat detectors, or manual pull stations. Sprinkler systems can activate your system through water flow devices or pressure switches. These are automatic initiating devices. You have probably fire alarm pull stations in commercial buildings. This is known as a manual initiating device. They’re required for most facilities depending on the occupancy type. Once a fire alarm is initiated, notifications will follow shortly after.
Types of Fire Alarm System Notification Appliances
Your building’s fire alarm system will notify the occupants of your building that a fire emergency is occurring. Here is how they will be notified:
- Visual signals: by strobe lights or visual message notification.
- Audible alerts: sirens, horns, speakers, and bells.
- Voice evacuation: loudspeakers transmitting a pre-recorded or live message.
NFPA codes specify audible and visual requirements for notification appliances so they can be seen and heard. Audible signals must be loud enough to be heard above ambient noise levels. Voice evacuations can be customized, but the goal is to direct everyone in the building to the closest and safest emergency exits. Frequent fire alarm drills with all employees will ensure a safe and efficient response in the event of an alarm. Fire protection professionals can offer tips on how to run proper fire drills effectively.
Be Aware of Any False Alarms
Frequent false alarms damage the efficiency and credibility of a fire alarm system because occupants begin to ignore emergency signals. Building owners can stop fire alarm system false alarms by:
- Making sure the system has been designed and installed by a competent, professional company.
- Keeping smoke doctors free of debris and dust.
- Installing protective covers for all pull stations.
- Engaging a reliable and competent fire protection company to regularly test and inspect the system.
Fire Protection Services from Fireline
Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your commercial property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting people and property from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our superb customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. We are located in Baltimore, MD, with a second office in Leesburg, VA. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.