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.