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An Essential Fire Alarm System Guide for Businesses
Fire alarm systems are a tricky thing to grasp for anyone without a bit of additional help. Not only is it essential for any and all businesses for safety and reassurance for their employees, but it is also required by law. It is a rule that law requirements are usually accompanied with specifications that must be followed or else legal action will ensue, and fire alarm systems are not an exception to that rule. Continue reading to learn about these specific requirements, seller options, pricing details, and extra tips just for you.
There are both local and national requirements for business fire alarm systems. Be sure to contact your local fire marshal so they may visit your place of business and advise you accordingly. The main needs you must have met are listed below:
- The larger your building or area is, the more devices you will need.
- Exit routes must not be few and far between. They must be clearly visible and accessible to your employees at all times.
- The more employees, or people in general, that occupy the building, the more signaling devices will be needed.
- If your business handles many flammable materials, your local fire marshal will tell you that specific training must take place for all your employees to better handle fire related situations.
Are your employees as close as possible to the nearest pull station? If not, be sure to change that. Have fire extinguishers and buckets of sand nearby for employees to use and be extra vigilant that your company has taught them proper use of such equipment. Fire drills are not to be overlooked and neither should the person that is in charge of them. If the employee in control of the drills is not up to par, the rest of the staff will not be properly trained.
When deciding which seller to contract with, the cheapest option is not what should be looked at. There are many factors that must be addressed before you choose the company, such as being legally and fully licensed in your region for the specific and important task of installation.
When speaking with them or reading through their company information, be sure to ask them or yourself if they provide all services that will be needed, such as assessment, wiring, and monitoring. How is their customer service and what are others saying about that specific part of their company? If it is not easy to contact them, they are not the correct choice. Acquire quotes from at least four different sources and never work with a company that does not visit your building before offering you a proposal. Always be aware of scams or illegitimate companies.
Local requirements, the size of your building, the amount of time a seller needs for installment, and the amount of equipment needed are all varying factors that will affect your price. In remote areas for basic buildings and equipment, the cost seems to be about one dollar to two dollars per square foot. If your building is in a city or contains many technological devices, the price goes up to three dollars or more per square foot. Sprinkler system installation is the most expensive, but may be required, so it should not be ruled out because of its high cost.
Monthly monitoring fees, after the equipment has been installed, are based on location and contract, but seem to be the norm. Be sure that your seller provides every cost or extra cost, if there are any, in writing. This will help prevent surprises. A warranty for the equipment is not uncommon and it can be expensive to continue to extend the warranty if you so choose.
If push comes to shove and this entire endeavor ends up costing you more than you originally planned or have budgeted, you can always consider leasing your equipment, which allows your payments to be more flexible for a certain amount of time. Once the leasing period is over, you can purchase the equipment for a regular fee, but you have the option not to purchase it at all. Be sure to contact your local fire marshal before making any final decisions to ask about any regulations that may have been missed.
- Local sellers are the way to go sometimes, so never rule them out for national sellers before taking your time to skim the details.
- Research as much as possible. This cannot be stressed enough. If you are ignorant to your surroundings, the knowledgeable will know.
- Do not make your presence scarce while the installation or anything else regarding the situation is undergoing.
- Be sure that whatever quote you are given will be the entirety in regards to local and national regulations. Your local fire marshal will crack the whip and you will need to be extra vigilant to keep your business legally up to par.