I receive questions and stories about installer experiences with code-compliant fire alarm systems in the field, many relating to issues about the use, application and installation requirements of visible and audible notification appliances.
Like many engineering disciplines, the fire protection world is built on tradition. And while tradition provides stability and uniformity, it also explains why the fire protection community has moved toward new technology applications at glacial speed.
When we think of system integration in the electrical and fire alarm systems market, we understand it involves bringing together component subsystems into one larger system and ensuring they function as one. And normally, the integrated system includes a fire alarm.
A contractor installed a new fire alarm system in a college dormitory and asked the owner, “How thoroughly do you want me to test the fire alarm system?” I was there to witness the system’s pre-acceptance test before we called the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) to arrange for the final acceptan
The tools and equipment necessary to install and test a fire alarm system have changed over the years, and until a fire official asks to perform a particular test, many contractors may be unaware that they need a new meter or specialized piece of equipment.
Did you ever wonder why some companies succeed and expand even in a down economy while others struggle to keep their doors open? It is a question worth considering because, once you analyze their reasons for success, you may find ideas you can use to increase your own business.
From talking to electrical contractors lately, I know it’s still tough to get profitable work in the current economy. However, I also find most of the contractors who have prepared well for such a poor economic situation are maintaining a substantial workload.
I often get calls from professional contractors who have become involved in design/build electrical projects that include the design and installation of fire alarm systems. The reasons for the calls vary, but most are born of surprise and frustration.
In the January 2012 issue of Campus Safety Magazine, Robin Hattersley-Gray reported from a 2011 survey stating that “more than half of university, hospital and K–12 school district fire protection professionals rate system maintenance (57 percent) and false alarms (53 percent) as two of their top fo
The captain of Road Prison 36 in “Cool Hand Luke,” played by Strother Martin, said the line that appears as the title of this article. Here, it leads to a discussion on the art and science of designing an effective communications system.
Sometimes I wonder if contractors read NFPA 72 2010, the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, when they decide to begin installing a fire alarm system. Of course, it should not be considered optional.
Recently, while attending a lunch-and-learn presentation from one of the better local distributors of fire alarm systems, we wound up discussing the quality of fire alarm system submissions from contractors.
In May of last year, the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland conducted a study to demonstrate the relative performance of smoke detectors and sprinklers in one- and two-family dwellings and apartments, commercial residential (e.g., hotels), and institutional occup
In a far-less-than-robust economy, we find many owners deferring moving to newly purchased or constructed facilities. Rather, they choose to renovate their existing buildings. Obviously, this process constricts the amount of work available.
As an electrical contractor, you understand the need and use of power for all electrical appliances, but do you understand the specific power requirements, both primary and secondary, for all of the fire alarm systems outlined in NFPA 72 2010, the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code?