As a business owner or property manager, you know it’s required by law to have a functioning fire alarm system. However, do you know when you should have the system updated? Very few owners and managers know when an aging commercial fire detection system should be replaced.
If you fall into this camp, review these telltale signs it’s time to upgrade the fire alarms in your office or facility. In emergencies, having up-to-date fire alarms could mean a difference between life and death.
Signs Your Business’s Fire Alarm Needs to Be Replaced
It shouldn’t be surprising that all fire alarms will need to be replaced eventually. As they age, parts begin to break or malfunction. However, you may also need to have the existing system upgraded to reflect changes in your business. Let’s look at the top signs the commercial fire safety system needs to be updated.
Your Detectors Are Old
If your smoke detectors are older than 10 years and the heat detectors are older than 15 years, it’s time to install new ones. Because technology is ever-evolving, the new detectors are likely to be too advanced for the control panel. For this reason, if you replace the aged detectors, you should upgrade the entire system to ensure all the components can communicate effectively.
The Fire Alarm Isn’t Working
Of course, you should have the fire protection system updated if it isn’t working. It may have stopped because of an electrical component failure, an alarm was tampered with, or the system is simply too old. Whatever the reason for it to stop working, it should be replaced as soon as possible.
The System Is Sensitive (or Not Sensitive Enough)
Fire alarm systems can sometimes be too sensitive or insensitive. Either way, it’s an issue.
If the system is sensitive, it will give false alarms left and right. Not only is this annoying, but over time, employees will become desensitized to the sound. When a real fire occurs, people may not evacuate the building on time. On the other hand, if the system is not sensitive enough, employees will not be alerted to danger.
If your business’s fire alarm system doesn’t pass its sensitivity test, you should have it upgraded. You don’t want to expose your employees to dangerous situations or be liable for any incidents.
You’re Planning a Renovation
Growth is fantastic for your business. However, it could mean that your fire alarm system is not up to the task of keeping your entire company safe. If you plan to renovate or expand your space (or have already done so), you may need to replace your older system with a newer, more robust system.
Even if you’ve kept your building the same, you could still potentially need an updated system. Adding new equipment or more employees to a single space could warrant a better fire alarm. To know for sure, you should have your system inspected and tested.
New Fire Alarm Technologies Worth the Update
Over the years, advancements have been made for commercial fire alarm systems. If it’s been a while since yours was installed, you may be missing out on these new technologies that allow fire protection systems to be safer and more efficient.
Voice evacuation technology has steadily been growing, and some fire codes require it in various buildings. It is certainly worth the consideration if you are not required to have it.
It is less jarring for employees to hear a voice alerting them to danger than a loud, blaring siren. The voice could also provide additional instructions about evacuating the building or information on where the danger lies.
More Efficient Devices
Alarm manufacturers are creating devices that draw less power to operate. In fact, horns, strobes, and horn-strobes are 20-35% more efficient. With this new technology, companies of all sizes can see significant savings.
Mobile apps allow business owners and facility managers to view and monitor fire alarm systems. This enables them to stay up-to-date on all the happenings across their business, especially if they have multiple buildings.
Don’t Put Off Commercial Fire Protection System Upgrades
As soon as you detect an issue with your fire alarm system or realize it’s old, reach out to a certified commercial electrician for system installations and upgrades. Don’t trust the safety and fate of your employees to chance. Keep up with industrial electrical repairs for your business’s fire alarm systems, and only trust the best experts.
If you need assistance with your commercial fire protection system, turn to Ocean Coast Electric. We can even help with your warehouse lighting repair needs! Contact us today to learn more.