If you are one of the few people who have recovered from a fire on your premises, consider yourself very lucky. Majority of the people don’t even make it to any exit.
Fire is one of the deadliest risks that all homeowners and businesses face. In the unfortunate event of a fire, you risk losing most of your property, if not all. A lack of safety measures may result in material and financial losses, as well as the loss of life.
Having a fire alarm security system is an excellent idea to keep you and your property safe. The system gives an early warning of the threat and allows enough time to evacuate the premises and call the authorities before the fire gets out of control.
Fire alarms are a vital part of any home or business and there are even laws stating that every business, small or large, must have a fire alarm system.
The UK fire alarm regulations state that you’re responsible for fire safety in business if you’re the owner or employer.
HOW DOES A FIRE ALARM SYSTEM WORK?
Fire alarm systems operate on the same principle of a specialised sensor detecting smoke, heat or an increase in carbon monoxide levels, which then triggers the alarm and warns others in and around the premises.
Fire alarm systems are mostly wireless and the heat or smoke detectors transmit the signals to a control panel wirelessly through radiofrequency.
Heat detectors use thermistor technology to sense the presence of excess heat.
Also, there are specific sensors that detect the increase of carbon monoxide levels using several mechanisms. Some even make use of biomimetic cells!
Smoke detectors, on the other hand, use photoelectricity or ionization to sense the presence of smoke.
Once the control panel receives the signal, it activates the alarms. Fire alarm systems may also incorporate fire alarm monitoring equipment which alerts the monitoring centres and the fire department in the event of an alarm trigger.
TYPES OF FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS
There are two main types of fire alarms; conventional fire alarm systems and addressable fire alarm systems. Let’s look at each one in detail:
- Conventional fire alarm systems
In a conventional fire alarm system, the property is divided into zones that give a rough idea as to where the fire has occurred.
The precision of knowing where the fire started is controlled by the number of zones and circuits that have been wired within the building.
When these components get activated, the control panel sounds an alarm such as a bell or other audible devices, alerting you to only the zone where the alarm was triggered.
- Addressable fire alarm systems
The addressable fire alarm system is the most modern type of fire alarm system. It has an “address” for each device that can pinpoint the exact location of the threat.
When one of the system’s components is initiated, it shows the component’s address on the fire alarm panel.
Due to the high level of precision, the addressable fire alarm system is pricier than the conventional one.
HOW DOES FIRE ALARM MONITORING WORK?
In the event of a fire, there is absolutely no time to waste since it can spread at an alarming rate causing substantial losses to you and your property.
Sometimes during a fire, people forget to even call the fire department amidst all the chaos and panic, giving the fire more time to spread making matters worse.
Fire alarm monitoring links your fire alarm system with professional monitoring centres that guarantee quick response time in reaching out to the fire department.
Fire alarm monitoring works by the fire alarm sending a signal to a professional monitoring centre via landline or 3G/4G network in the event of a fire breaking out. The monitoring centre receiving the signal notifies the fire department and named key holders of the property for the necessary action is taken.
WHY DO YOU NEED FIRE ALARM MONITORING SERVICES?
The main reason that you need fire alarm monitoring services is to keep watch over your property during a fire outbreak and for the professionals to take immediate action.
Fire alarm monitoring is a great way to ensure your home and business is safe from threats such as fire, especially when it’s unattended. If a fire breaks out at night when the property is empty, or when the homeowners are out for a vacation, no one would even find out till the damage has already been done.
Fire alarm monitoring guarantees that no alarm goes unheard or unattended and that instant action is taken because dedicated experts are monitoring your property 24/7.
IMPORTANCE OF FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS TO HOMES AND BUSINESSES
Regardless of how big or small your house or business is, it’s always best practice to have a good fire alarm system in place. A fire can wreak havoc on the lives of the people it affects and overcoming the huge losses can become quite a challenge.
It’s always best to have safety and security measures in place to avoid any such incidents from taking place. Here are all the ways a fire alarm is important for your home and business:
- Early detection
This is possibly the biggest advantage that fire alarms systems have to offer. Early detection of threats such as fires can make a lot of difference in the outcome. It can help you avoid serious damage; therefore, it is of extreme importance.
An early signal will enable you to protect your property and rush its inhabitants to safety. A monitored fire alarm will also notify the fire department so that the fire can be controlled.
- Quick response time
Early detection and monitoring services guarantee quick response time and overall safety. This includes life and property, both.
With fire alarm monitoring, the fire department can be contacted ASAP and firefighters dispatched to your property the moment a fire is detected by the system.
- Avoid inhaling smoke
Smoke inhalation is the leading cause of death in fire-related incidents.
The inability to know there’s a fire and getting out in time can lead to smoke inhalation, ultimately resulting in death.
For example, this is most common when homeowners are asleep and have no way of detecting there is a fire on the premises. Having a fire alarm system in such scenarios is crucial and fire alarm system monitoring services just add to the safety since you know the fire department will be dispatched immediately.
- Cost minimization
Fire alarm systems might seem a little costly, but when you consider the benefits that it provides, you’ll realize that an effective one can minimize your costs.
In the event of a fire, fire alarm systems and monitoring services can speed up response time and protect your valuable assets from fire.
Additionally, a well-maintained fire alarm security system can lower your insurance premiums and protect you from fines during inspections for not having a proper system in place.
CAUSES OF RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL FIRES
There are a few known and very common causes of fires erupting in homes and businesses. You’d be surprised to know how trivial mistakes, such as careless smoking, can result in residential and commercial fires.
- Electrical equipment
Electrical equipment that is overheated, defective, or misused can be a major fire hazard.
Equipment such as computers must always be in a well-ventilated area and must be placed away from walls. Other faulty items such as toasters, microwaves, and coffee machines must be repaired or replaced. Equipment such as curling irons and straighteners must never be left on attended.
Turning off all electrical equipment at the end of the day must be a habit adopted by both home and business owners.
- Faulty wiring
Various electrical faults contribute to domestic and commercial fires each year.
The most common cause is a short circuit that happens when the wires are overloaded and cause sparks due to overheating. All wiring in the property must be regularly maintained, checking for broken or frayed connections.
Also, avoid putting more than one extension cord in a power outlet since not doing so might cause overloading/overheating and lead to a fire.
- Cooking equipment
An overheated cooking utensil can take seconds to start a fire.
Because of high cooking temperatures and using fire/heat to cook food, the kitchen in both residential properties and businesses such as restaurants are a hotspot for fire-related incidents.
Cooking must never be left unattended and flammable items such as oven mitts, paper towels, and washcloths must always be kept away from the stove.
- Heating equipment
In the colder months, heaters and furnaces can become a serious threat if not maintained and checked regularly. They are probably the second most common cause for residential fires. All heating equipment must be kept at least one metre away from items such as curtains and furniture. Drying your clothes on a heater is a horrible idea and a fire just waiting to happen.
- Flammable liquids
If stored improperly, flammable liquids such as fuel, cleaning agents, and paint can explode causing a lot of damage.
Never store such liquids near heat. Always choose a properly ventilated area since there is a high risk of chemical fires if the right safety measures are not followed.
Careless behaviour, such as improperly disposing of cigarette butts or other smoking materials can start fires.
Dropping hot ash on carpets, furniture, and other flammable materials can pose a serious threat to everyone. Smoking must always be done outside in the open, or if done inside, a well-ventilated area must be chosen and an ashtray to dispose of the ash and cigarette butts.
Also, items such as candles, matchsticks, and lighters must be kept as far away from children as possible.
WHAT FIRE-RELATED SERVICES DO WE OFFER?
You can bank on Calder security for a wide array of fire alarm services that include:
FIRE ALARM INSTALLATION
The proper installation of a fire alarm system is just as crucial as the quality of the system itself. Professional fire alarm installation, like the one offered by Calder Security, ensures the task is carried out with expertise and utmost precision.
Depending on the type of premises, fire alarms must be installed either in every room or on every floor of the property.
When assessing the number and type of fire alarms to be installed, a few considerations must be taken such as:
- The size of the property
An appropriate fire alarm system is chosen depending on the size of the house and business.
If the property is small, such as a studio apartment or single-office premises, the requirements would be different than a bigger, multi-storey building.
- The complexity of the system
The nature of a business is crucial in determining the complexity of the fire alarm system required.
For instance, businesses that are at a higher risk of fires such as restaurants, chemical factories, beauty salons, and paint shops require more complex systems than others.
We, at Calder security, understand how important proper fire alarm system installation is to both your home and business. With professional fire alarm system installation, fires will be detected as soon as they break out and you can act fast and put them out before your property becomes an inferno.
We’ve been in the security industry since 1976 and offer the best fire alarm installation services through our SSAIB-approved installers. Before we set out to install the system at your premises, we assess your home or business requirements first, after which we recommend a suitable fire alarm for your requirements.
Our fire alarm systems meet the British fire safety standards, HSE regulations, Commercial building fire safety Regulations, and Fire Officer Guidelines.
FIRE ALARM MAINTENANCE
A fire alarm system won’t work fault-free without proper maintenance.
Maintaining your fire alarm system is crucial if you want your system to work efficiently. Besides, fire regulation law requires you to regularly maintain your fire alarm system.
Yearly maintenance checks are required for the system to work smoothly and for you to remain compliant with all the fire regulation laws.
Our Calder Security specialists have extensive knowledge of fire regulation laws and our vast 40+ years of experience in the field makes us best suited for your fire alarm system needs.
We work fast to restore your fire alarm system to excellent condition and always strive to meet your expectations.
FIRE ALARM MONITORING SERVICES
Fire alarm monitoring adds an extra layer of safety to your fire alarm system. Knowing that experts at an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) are looking out for your safety and taking the necessary steps to ensure that safety remains intact in the event of a fire is a very reassuring thought.
We offer various levels of monitoring via a 24-hour monitoring centre, using Dualcom and BT Redcare signalling, which is the most secure alarm monitoring system and the largest supplier of intelligent alarm signalling services in the UK. BT Redcare is a widely used service established around 30 years ago, securing many residential and commercial properties throughout the country.
Fire alarm monitoring can not only significantly minimise the seriousness of the situation through fast action, but also reduce your insurance premiums.
FIRE ALARM REPAIR SERVICES
As is with every machine, a fire alarm is prone to develop faults over time due to a variety of factors such as general wear and tear, prolonged use, and extreme weather conditions.
Due to the nature of a fire alarm system, it is crucial for you to know when it becomes faulty so that you can get it repaired or replaced ASAP to prevent false fire alarms or, in a worst-case scenario, prevent it from triggering in the event of a fire.
Our engineers are highly skilled and can restore your system to full working order in one visit. We offer a 24-hour call-out service for customers and can also repair fire alarms not installed by us thanks to our extensive knowledge and experience.