THE IMPORTANCE OF FIRE ALARMS
Installing a fire alarm is one of the most prudent measures you can take to manage your fire risk. If you don’t already have a fire alarm installed in your Southeast commercial building, consider making this addition as soon as possible. Then, don’t forget the importance of ongoing inspections and tests.
Reasons to Install a Fire Alarm
- Fire alarms save lives: The number one reason to install a fire alarm is to make the building safe for your employees, customers, and tenants. A combination of smoke and heat detectors, sirens and bells, and strobe lights detect fires and alert building occupants, giving them ample time to evacuate in an orderly fashion.
- Fire alarms reduce property loss: While strobe lights and sirens don’t actively put out fires, they alert the people who can. The fire control process begins when trained personnel attack a small fire with an extinguisher and bystanders, guests, or employees call the fire department. Monitored fire alarm systems automatically notify emergency responders and fire trucks dispatch to your location without delay. The faster these responses happen, the sooner the fire is extinguished and the less damage your building sustains.
- Fire alarms shorten your recovery time: Less building damage means shorter downtime until you can reopen for business. This cuts your losses from the fire even more, allowing you to return to business as usual before long.
- Fire alarms may qualify you for insurance discounts: Most insurance carriers offer discounted rates on business insurance policy premiums if you have a code-compliant fire alarm system. In fact, some providers require you to install a fire alarm before they will insure your business.
- Fire alarms keep you code-compliant: If you want to avoid fees and embarrassing PR problems, avoid getting caught up in code-compliance issues. One way to do this is to install a fire alarm in your commercial building.
Don’t Forget Fire Alarm Inspections and Testing!
Fire alarm installation is the first step in protecting life and property in a fire, but don’t underestimate the importance of ongoing fire alarm inspections and testing. The National Fire Alarm Code requires simple weekly and quarterly visual checks, more thorough semi-annual tests, and professional yearly inspections performed by a licensed fire protection company. If you skip these essential maintenance steps, here’s what could happen:
- Most fire alarms provide information about where the fire is located to emergency responders. An undetected malfunction in this information delivery process could delay firefighting efforts.
- False alarms could disrupt your daily operations and needlessly dispatch fire trucks to your location, possibly resulting in fees for repeat offenses.
- The alarm could fail to go off properly in a fire, putting people’s lives at risk.
- You could be fined for failing to comply with fire safety codes.
- Your insurance carrier may reject your claim without proof of annual fire alarm inspections.
- Your liability for potential injuries or loss of life skyrockets if you neglect your fire alarm system.