Fire alarms are electronic devices which make loud high sounds to alert people that there, during a fire incident in any building.
A fire alarm system has a number of devices working together to detect and warn people through combination of visual and audio appliances in case of a Fire Incident. These alarms may be activated automatically from smoke detectors, and heat detectors or may also be activated via manual fire alarm activation devices such as manual call points or pull stations. Alarms are either motorized bells or can be wall mounted sounders, sirens or horning devices. They are also available in speaker based strobes which sound an alarm;this is then followed by a voice evacuation message which is aimed at warning people inside the building to avoid use the elevators. Each Fire alarm sounders comes with the option of setting them at different modes, frequencies and different tones, which including low, medium and high, depending on the country and manufacturer of the device.
Fire alarm systems are designed with the aim to help in protecting people, property, and assets. It is easy to identify a defect in theses alarms simply by looking at them.Like most other electronic systems some components can degrade over time and compromise overall operational capabilities. Any type of dirt, dust, and other contaminants can cause problems with the functioning of the smoke detectors. Any vandalism, in experienced remodeling, and improper maintenance procedures can also damage the fire protection equipment permanently. Hence it is suggested with proper testing, inspection, and maintenance you can keep your fire alarm system at optimum operating performance for a longer duration. Apart from ensuring protection, keeping your fire alarm system in good running condition reduces the expenses by preventing unbudgeted emergency repairs and costly replacements.
Categorize Systems Age Wise.
Systems installed within 5 years should require little effort to maintain. Such systems which have been installed so recently only have minor problems which are due to installation errors like improper grounding or environmental factors like voltage fluctuations and so on. Timely testing and inspection of the system by qualified personnel can detect and solve most of these problems.
Systems between the age of five and ten years old may experience component breakdown which is generally caused by harsh but normal, environmental factors. Voltage fluctuations, differences in temperature, and humidity may at times cause system failure.These environmental factors could also trigger false alarm issues.
Fire Alarm systems which have been installed before ten to fifteen years can still provide appropriate life-safety response. A well installed and well maintained system will come in use for longer durations such as these. However, most systems in this category need close attention, despite having proper maintenance procedures in place. In case, the system has a history of poor maintenance or none at all, it is most likely that failure of components will occur, also improper monitoring of system components will result in failures.
Systems approaching 20 years of age may be beyond their technological life expectancy. The system may continue to work satisfactorily if properly maintained, but you need testing and inspection by trained specialists to ensure proper system response will occur in an emergency. It would be recommended to replace the system with latest technology available with the suggestion of a competent fire alarm system installer.
The maintenance activities for fire alarm systems can be summed up in four steps.
Test and calibrate alarm sensors, such as heat and smoke detectors, per manufacturer specifications. This requires knowing about the different sensors and their testing requirements, failure modes, and re-installation requirements.
Simulate inputs and test the annunciators. This requires specific knowledge of the system under test.
Set sensitivity. This requires an understanding of the particular system, the specific application, and fire detection theory.
Check the battery for corrosion and expiration date, then take appropriate action, if necessary.
Experience shows that maintenance technicians under pressure to keep production equipment running often overlook important details because “nothing is broken.”
Standards and guidelines. Most system manufacturers recommend at least two full annual test and inspection after initial installation and acceptance.
In virtually all cases, the standards outlined by Fire Protection Authorities have minimum requirements based on shape and size of the building to be protected. However, the potential problem is that not all fire alarm systems are subject to the same environmental and geographical conditions. Therefore, meeting minimum standards of all applicable codes and standards defined by authorities may not provide the optimum protection for a facility. Based on these issues manufacturers’ and service organizations may recommend further inspections and maintenance that exceed published standards and guidelines.
In addition to system age, you must consider budget and staffing resources. Does your staff have the time and expertise to properly maintain this critical life-safety system? Will it be more cost-effective to have the manufacturer’s service organization or a contractor specializing in fire alarms perform the maintenance? The most stringent standards and guidelines are meaningless unless the people performing the inspection, testing, and maintenance are knowledgeable and qualified to service the fire alarm system.
Emergency service offering four-hour and eight-hour response times, on a 24-hr-a-day basis, is an option available in most service agreements. This service usually provides response within the specified time, along with repair and replacement of equipment. Rapid emergency response is almost universal for the health care and lodging industries because of around-the-clock occupancy by staff, patients, and guests.
For most buildings, giving AMC of Fire Alarm System is ideal. Before you sign a maintenance agreement, one must ensure technicians are certified and well trained. They must have thorough knowledge of system installation and life cycle inspection, testing, and maintenance protocols.
Small steps help a long way in fire safety, hence we at Sujay Fire have dedicated our team towards improving existing systems and innovating towards a safer tomorrow.
“Your Safety is Our Priority”