If you are thinking of making some changes to the fire alarm system at your place of business, there's more to consider that what you think is appropriate. The decisions you make and the equipment you select must be in full compliance with local commercial building and safety codes. One way to ensure that you focus on options that are in line with those local codes is to obtain a copy of the code ahead of time. As you browse through the requirements, make sure that you pay close attention to these specifics.
Equipment That is Required as a Minimum
There are plenty of fire detection devices to choose from, but you want to make sure your choices include anything the local code requires. Some of the details will depend on the number of employees you have, the total square footage of the space, and even the type of business that you operate. At a minium, expect for the local code to require that you have a smoke alarm in each enclosed space plus a certain number of extinguishers that are mounted and readily accessible throughout the structure. You may even find that the safety code requires that you have some type of overhead sprinkler system in place that will deploy when smoke or unusually high amounts of heat are detected.
Backup Power Sources
Along with the right equipment, you also need to think about how those devices will remain operational if there is a power outage. When looking at different solutions, find out if they can be powered using some sort of alternative energy source, like solar panels. It also helps to determine if some or all of the devices can be kept operational with the aid of some type of battery backup. this ensures that if the main power source is unavailable, there is still some type of power to make sure those sprinkler heads deploy or that the gas that's part of your fire suppression system will release through the heads in whatever area the fire is located.
You can rest assured that the local municipality will conduct inspections of all fire alarm systems in the area. That includes the one in your place of business. Your best bet is to set up a contract with a local service that provides maintenance and repairs when the need arises. Choosing to have your own inspections done from time to time decreases the risk of a local official finding something wrong and assessing some sort of fine.
Your partner will likely utilize a checklist as a way to keep the inspection on track. It will be similar to the one used by the local officials. This makes it easier to ensure nothing is overlooked and you do have the chance to correct any issues in a timely manner.
Remember that the system in your place of business is intended to contain fires, keep employees safe, and protect everything from your furnishings to the hardware that makes up the company network. Choose your strategies for fire prevention and safety with care. In the long run, you and everyone connected with the company will benefit.