Why and How a Fire Alarm Inspection Might Save Your Life
While the total numbers of fires may be declining in some areas of life (fires in warehouse properties have declined substantially in the past 30 years, for instance), fires still represent a frightening reality that threaten properties ranging from commercial to residential.
Consider the following statistics:
- Hotel and motel fires cause an estimated 15 deaths and 150 injuries per year
- U.S. fire departments respond to a home fire every 88 seconds
- A home fire every 88 seconds amounts to over 350,000 fires per year, with a total damage cost of $6.5 billion
Due to the danger associated with fires, certain regulations have come out throughout the years demanding fire suppression systems. This includes the Hotel and Motel Fire and Safety Act of 1990, which states that any hotel, meeting hall, or other similar institution that receives federal funding must meet fire and safety requirements.
All said, fire suppression devices help to control fires, which in turn prevents damage to property and any persons in the building. Over 40 million sprinkler heads are installed every year, and a study showed that 96% of fires can be controlled with sprinklers alone.
Still, it’s easy to feel uneasy, especially if the person works in a setting where there is a higher risk for fires, like a restaurant for instance.
Therein comes the fire inspection companies. They make sure the fire alarm system is working, that it can notify people in the event of the slightest sign of a fire. The layperson might be surprised that there are over eight components to a fire alarm system. Here’s what a typical fire alarm system inspection looks like.
Inspecting the Smoke Detectors
Every fire alarm system starts with the basics: detection of a fire. And that often means smoke. Smoke detectors, when working properly, react to just a small amount of smoke to go off, which actives the pull handles and the alarm.
To test, an inspector might create a small amount of “fake” smoke to test the reaction time of the smoke detector. Defunct smoke detectors may react too late to the “fake” smoke, and a person might thinking about replacing them.
Testing the Pull Handles
Fire alarm inspections always test the pull handles. They are one of the key services provided by a fire alarm inspection service. Although it is possible that one of the handles may be broken or sticky, a large part of the test is whether the pulling of the handle sends a signal back to the electronic console controlling the alarms.
Whether a handle sends a signal to the console is a key test for fire protection companies. If a signal is not sent, the fire inspection company may want to consider a fire alarm repair.
Activating the Alarms
The next step is to test the alarm system, which includes the horns and the strobe lights. In this step, technicians will alert the occupants of a building that it is just a test and activate the fire alarm system using the pull handles and the corresponding signal to the console.
This is a key part of a fire alarm inspection service. Often in these cases, technicians will go from floor to floor, individually checking each floor’s alarm system.
Fires cause billions of dollars in damage each year and result in the loss of lives. It is now commonplace for buildings to have fire suppression systems, which often are a mixture between sprinklers and wet and dry chemical agents.
A fire alarm inspection service is mandatory for inspecting the health of a fire suppression system and affords protection in case of a natural disaster.