Fire Alarms and Security Systems Blog | ASM Integrators

Fire Alarm Installation and The Crucial Role It Plays in Safeguarding Your Business

  • 05/11/2009

Business owners rarely give fire alarm installation a second thought; as long as you have a system, your property, employees and assets are protected, right? Not so fast. The installation of your system is crucial in whether it works properly. It should be installed by technicians who are licensed, knowledgeable and experienced in all aspects of fire alarm installation. While expert installation is important in any commercial or business setting, this is particularly true in the New York City and Long Island areas, where you find more skyscrapers and high-rise buildings than anywhere else in the U.S. A company that specializes in security can protect your business in a number of ways, including: Thorough inspection of your premises. Prior to installation, a reputable company will send a representative to your business you will inspect your business in order to determine what type of system may be most suitable for your needs. You also want a company that will take your budget in to consideration while still offering reliable security. Professional installation. Installing any type of security equipment to protect your business requires a professional who is skilled, experienced and knowledgeable. You may have a friend or relative who is technically or mechanically oriented, but that doesn’t mean they have any business installing a fire alarm system. This is a measure that can save lives – and your business. So leave it to the experts. Monitoring, inspection and more. Not only is proper fire alarm installation crucial in safeguarding your business and employees, how that system is maintained is just as important. By hiring a company dedicated to business security and all that those systems encompass including monitoring and inspection, you can rest assured that you, your property and all those who step foot on your property are as safe as possible should a fire break out. It’s easy to go with the first commercial fire alarm installation company you come to in the Yellow Pages, or one that is located closest to you – but it may not be the best decision you make. Go with a company that specializes in commercial security, one that is reputable and trusted when it comes to keeping property and lives safe from potential danger. When you rely on professionals that takes an integrated approach, providing engineering and design, monitoring, inspection and more, you experience peace of mind.

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Fire Alarm Design Is Essential

  • 30/10/2011

While you may not consider fire alarm design when choosing a system to protect your business and its occupants, design plays a crucial role in how well your building, property and employees are protected. It’s easy to assume that you simply go out and “buy” a fire alarm system to safeguard your property, but protecting your premises involves more than that. To put it simply, you should consider having a licensed professional design a system that is suitable for your particular needs; building size and structure are two factors that come in to play and are extremely important in designing an effective alarm. By having a system designed according to the particular specifications of your business, you will enjoy peace of mind knowing that you have maximum safety and efficiency should a fire occur. Fire alarm design can be complex Think of your home; would a multi-story building where dozens of people work require the same fire alarm design as that of your home? Of course not. The design of a system is undertaken by an engineer, who takes in to account many factors including how many levels are in the building, its composition, where heat sources are located and how many exits there are along with the location of those exits. For larger public buildings, design often includes supplemental fire safety features such as communication devices and sprinkler systems. Engineers work to design a fire alarm system that will provide the ultimate protection for your property, inventory and employees based upon the factors mentioned above. Inspection of the property is performed so that the engineer can determine where alarms should be located, where wiring may be required and other possible electrical needs that should be integrated in the designing of the alarm. Another aspect of proper fire alarm design is determining if existing wiring is up to code, and whether the system will be connected directly to the fire department or company where the alarm system was purchased. It is imperative that in the event of a fire or smoke, authorities are notified promptly in order to minimize the potential damage and save lives. As you can see, fire alarm design encompasses far more than having a few smoke detectors installed. To ensure your business and its occupants are protected to the highest degree, consider the importance of fire alarm design. In cities like New York City where high-rise buildings and skyscrapers are the norm, take no chances when it comes to your business, property and occupants. The right design could save your livelihood and the lives of your staff.

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Fire Alarm Maintenance Helps Prevent False Alarms

  • 11/10/2012

False alarms can be a real nuisance, not to mention frightening. Dependable fire alarm maintenance plays an important role in keeping your alarms functioning properly, and eliminating the majority of false alarms. When you consistently have alarms going off when there is no real danger, it disrupts your business activities, which costs you money due to unproductive downtime. Benefits of fire alarm maintenance Fewer nuisance alarms False alarms and lack of fire alarm maintenance go hand in hand. Your system equipment should be checked, cleaned and tested on a regular basis, which will help ensure that the alarm sounds only when there is a true danger. How well your fire protection system performs is directly related to whether you have a good maintenance program in effect. Depending upon the type of system installed, inspection and maintenance are usually performed on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis. When alarms fail to work properly and sound falsely, it can not only put an undue burden on the fire department and other authorities causing them to possibly be unavailable where a real danger exists, employees may become complacent because they are used to the alarms going off without reason – meaning they may not take precautionary measures. Increased protection of your property and employees Fire alarm maintenance is essential not only to keep your property safe, but those who occupy the premises such as employees, patrons and visitors. Dust, dirt and other particles often cause problems with smoke detectors; improper maintenance can lead to damage of your equipment. An alarm that is functioning properly and well maintained provides security and peace of mind. Reduced repair costs When your fire alarm is in good condition, it reduces costs related to emergency repairs and false alarms. Frequently, regular maintenance and upkeep can help you avoid purchasing new components or equipment. Properly maintained, a good system can last for decades with only minor adjustments or equipment additions should you decide to expand. Should you have staff perform maintenance, or should you rely on the manufacturer’s service organization? The fact is, few maintenance personnel have the knowledge and experience that qualified technicians do. If your desire is to keep your property and your employees safe and prevent frequent false alarms, have experts with the skill and experience handle your fire alarm maintenance needs. Overall you will save money and avoid the unnecessary hassles and inconvenience of dealing with frequent false alarms.

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New York Fire Alarm Inspections

  • 02/07/2013

In its 2012-2013 annual report, New York City Fire Department has reported over 25,000 incidents of structural fires. Watch such an incident recorded at W 48th and 10th Ave in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC. Fire Alarm systems give critical early warning of a fire or smoke condition enabling people to react quickly and evacuate safely. It also transmits a signal to a supervising station and also to those who can take action, the ‘Fire Department’. To cut structural fire incidents at its bud, preventive measures like fire-system inspections and testing should be done periodically and ensure all fire alarm system components function properly. Fire Alarm Inspection’s objective is to inform the building or business owner of the imperfections and breakdowns of a fire alarm system with the goal of redressing them as soon as possible. The inspection, testing and servicing of fire alarm systems, systems initiating devices, and notification appliances shall comply with the requirements of the NYC Fire Code, NFPA 72 – national fire alarm and signaling code and the equipment manufacturer’s recommendations and verify the correct operation of the fire alarm system. At any FDNY Fire Alarm System inspection and testing, an S-97 or S-98 Certificate of Fitness holder must be present. The holder must make an entry in the premises log book, including the holder’s name, Certificate of Fitness number, employer, as well as record the purpose of the visit and its official outcome. The S-97 or S-98 Certificate of Fitness was developed in order to certify technicians who program, test, inspect and service fire alarm systems in the City of New York. All technicians of ASM Integrators are S-97 or S-98 Certified and familiar with NFPA 72, NYC Fire and Building Codes, the Rules of the City of New York (3-RCNY), NYC Electrical Code and FDNY Fire Alarm Bulletins that are applicable to their performance. Get in touch with ASM Integrators anytime and get to know the many different fire alarm components that come with different testing procedures and frequencies. Below are the testing frequencies of some of the more common components: Annual Requirements: - Test & visual inspection of panel functionality, LED’s, fuses, etc… - Test panel battery charger - Battery discharge test - Test & visual inspection of horns, strobes, chimes, & bells etc… - Test & visual inspection of smoke detectors - Test & visual inspection of heat detectors - Test & visual inspection of duct smoke detectors - Test & visual inspection of Electromechanical Releasing Devices (Solenoid) - Test & visual inspection of Voice Evacuation equipment Semiannual Requirements - Test of sprinkler water flow switches (flow water or manually trip flapper) - Test of sprinkler valve tamper switches (operate valves) - Visual inspection lead-acid battery (swelling or loose connections) - Test batteries – load voltage Quarterly Requirement - Visual inspection of all fire sprinkler devices connected to the alarm. This includes water flow switches and valve tamper switches. - Test of fire pump monitored points (loss of phase, phase reversal, pump running etc…) Building owners are responsible for scheduling inspections and testing of fire alarm systems. Some of the prerequisite documentations for the inspection are: a plan or work application (Form PW-1) from the Department of Buildings a plan examination (Form TM-1) a set of approved 24″ x 36″ plans ‘As-Built’ riser diagram, data sheet A Form A-433 Electrician’s sign-off form Copies of a standard Inspection and Testing Form may be obtained at The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) creates codes and standards for fire protection and suppression systems. Post the inspection, keep a copy of the completed Inspection and Testing Form for yourself and your insurance carrier and send a copy to the local Fire Department. While many building owners or business owners might not fully appreciate the periodical call of a fire alarm inspection, there are certain benefits associated with it: Adherence to Fire Alarm Code-NFPA 72 and meet requirements of the fire inspectors - We definitely won’t like to receive a ‘Notice of Violation’ from the FDNY, would we? Meet requirements of the local building department and insurance carrier Safer Building for its business owner, clients, employees, visitors, shoppers etc… Improves resale value of the building and possibly a reduction in insurance premiums

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Faraday Fire Alarm – A Well-Known Name in Fire Protection For Business

  • 01/03/2014

For over 130 years, a Faraday fire alarm has offered the ultimate in fire protection for thousands of businesses both large and small. Over the years, fire safety needs have changed dramatically due to the growth of business, high-rise buildings, multi-building campuses, massive industrial settings, etc. No longer are businesses small little “mom and pop” establishments like they once were. Are your property, business assets and employees properly protected in case of fire? Why addressable systems are essential in a business environment A Faraday fire alarm is an addressable system, but what does that mean to you? Unlike conventional systems, this type of fire protection is flexible and reliable, technologically advanced when compared to other systems. Addressable technology helps saves lives in that a fire can be detected and pinpointed almost immediately, which makes for accelerated response. Because these systems are mapped, each detection device has a separate ID, and the locations of these ID’s are nearly always communicated digitally to either the fire department or central station. In addition, more and more businesses today demand fire protection that is survivable in the event of a fire; businesses also want to save as much money as possible without compromising the safety of their property, assets and human lives. Faraday fire alarms offer self diagnostic technology, which simply means that service technicians may be alerted when a module or detector is dirty or malfunctioning. This not only helps service personnel correct potential problems early, it helps businesses save money that would have been spent on repair. That being said, the NFPA has specific guidelines that ensure that all aspects of fire systems are properly maintained, so self diagnostics should never replace scheduled maintenance. Another aspect of addressable fire alarm systems that is of great value is that individual problems can be easily determined because unlike conventional systems in which a single loop is comprised of multiple devices, an addressable system makes it easy to identify specific, individual problems. With a Faraday fire alarm businesses can count on faster installation and troubleshooting, concise reporting of fires or threats of fire and enhanced safety for your property. Today, enhanced technology is increasing safety in the business arena, meaning quicker response time, components and devices that can be integrated with many existing systems, lower cost and reduced maintenance and repair. Isn’t your business worth the best fire protection system in the industry?

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Proper Fire Alarm Repair is as Important as a Reliable Fire Alarm System

  • 01/05/2015

In every business, it is essential that you have a reliable fire alarm system; however, what do you do when you need fire alarm repair? You may be tempted to try to determine what the problem is yourself, or even make the repairs. This is not recommended, as most people are not qualified and certainly not experts when it comes to something so essential to saving lives in the event of a fire. Fire alarm repair is something that most businesses only need every few years, but these repairs are an essential line of defense meant to protect your property, employees and other assets in times that could be life-threatening. Most systems work around the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure that your possessions are safeguarded. However, even the most reliable systems need an occasional update or repair. Fire alarm repair should be performed by qualified experts When you do need repairs made to your fire alarm, it is essential that you rely on technicians with the skill, experience and knowledge to make the repairs. Your alarm should be in constant working order, and will be as long as you rely on trained professionals to perform the work. In most cases, having your system maintained on a regular basis can prevent the need for repairs. However, it’s good to know who to call when your system is not working properly. A quick repair will restore security to your business – and peace of mind. When it comes to fire alarm repair, here are some of the most common repairs performed: - Replacement of corroded electrical wire used in battery-free smoke detectors - Replacement of speakers and other worn-out parts - Recalibration of smoke sensors - Replacement of strobe lights used to warn those on the property of a fire - Reconnection of alarms so that all sound off when smoke is detected by a single unit - Detection or troubleshooting failures in circuit boards In addition, it is important that the technician who performs your fire alarm repair is familiar with common manufacturers; many professionals stock most of the components and replacement parts so that they can repair your alarm in short order, restoring security to your premises. Expert fire alarm repair should not be taken lightly; while it may seem more cost effective to hire a “Jack of all trades” or do it yourself, why risk the safety of your property – not to mention lives?

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