Most contractors install strobe lights to comply with the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code by simply using a combination audible-visible appliance everywhere one or the other is shown on the plans.
We have all had experience with smoke detectors. Specifying the right smoke detector for the application will improve the reliability of fire alarm systems tremendously. Of course, the detector must be installed correctly to prevent problems.
In 2008, fires caused more than $15.5 billion in direct property loss, but overall, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) reported a decline in fire losses from the previous year. Fires in residential properties accounted for $8.6 billion.
Have you ever seen a poor fire alarm system installation? Perhaps the original installer executed an incompetent design, or an incompetent installer poorly installed a proper design. In either case, the bottom line profitability of the installer will suffer.
Recently, while witnessing a company performing a periodic test and inspection of a large, old fire alarm system, technicians discovered the system’s trouble light was illuminated. A fire alarm’s trouble light is never insignificant.
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.