Contractors often field calls from prospective customers regarding the installation of a fire alarm system. The customer has made the decision to protect his building and wants advice on how best to accomplish this goal.
There are two basic categories of alarm panels on the market today: residential and commercial. Commercial panels, whether single- or dual-use combination, must be tested by a third-party organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) of Northbrook, Ill.
Every smoke detector serves a different purpose. The primary reason to install them is to provide a means of early warning in the event of a fire. Smoke detectors may be used for detection of fire, to protect equipment or to connect with building functions.
When integrating building systems with fire alarm systems, we normally consider the more obvious list of building systems: heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC); lighting; fire protection (sprinkler, restaurant hood suppression, etc.); security; access control; other low-voltage; and ele
Air-duct smoke detectors are not the same as open-area room detectors. Area detectors’ main function is to sense smoke as a sign of fire. Duct detectors are designed to trigger a fire alarm and also to reduce the circulation of smoke through heating, ventilating and air conditioning ducts (HVAC).
A trip to the local mall can be an all-day event, depending on how many family members participate in the shopping spree. And the closer the shopping event is to a holiday, the better the chances are that the mall will be crowded.
Every day, we encounter both good and bad customer service. If you fly at all, you already know that most airlines have forgotten what the words “customer service” mean. You are met by a surly gate agent who is upset about having to assist you.
As an electrical contractor, you field calls from prospective customers asking for a fire alarm system installation. Interestingly, although you may be knowledgeable in these installations, you may rarely ask the owner about his or her fire protection goals.
Electrical contractors field calls daily in response to their customer’s electrical needs. What separates the good electrical contractors from the great electrical contractors is how they respond to their customers. Whether you believe it or not, you are a problem solver.
Elecrical contractors become very comfortable having someone looking over their shoulder to judge their work. Most of the time, the electrical inspector fills the role of judge. Many electrical inspectors were once licensed electricians.
While fire alarms can be integrated with other building systems, they are tightly governed by codes and standards, such as NFPA 72, NFPA 70, UL864, etc., since these systems directly affect life safety.
As most contractors know, installing fire alarm systems is a code-driven business. One would think the requirements for fire alarm system installations are the same for all commercial and government buildings. While that may be the case for some government buildings, it certainly is not universal.
Reliable, dependable fire detection depends on electrical contractors (ECs) installing the correct cable. Quality is just as important as wire gauge. The internal and external characteristics of the product must fit the application.
Sometimes we get so caught up in running an electrical business and trying to make ends meet that we forget the importance of planning. It is important to take the time to evaluate your business and decide which areas need improvement and where new business can be developed.