4 Ways to Keep Your Commercial Fire Alarm System Healthy
Fire and smoke alarms are more than just a legal requirement for commercial facilities. These systems represent the first line of defense and should never go without your attention for too long. You should check your alarms to make sure you stay in legal compliance, but you can and should do more. Follow these four action items to keep your fire alarm system healthy.
1. Keep Your Alarm System Maintained
Your fire alarm system comes with maintenance instructions that usually consist of how to test them. You should follow those instructions and make sure to test your alarms within the prescribed parameters.
When you test the alarms, you can also check the batteries as well. Look for signs of damage or corrosion. Replace batteries as needed, or put battery replacement on a schedule. Don’t ever let your alarms get to a point where a dead battery can become the reason for an alarm failure.
If you monitor, configure, or control your alarm system through an access control system, then make sure to test the control system as well. You’ll want to know your system alarms trigger when the fire or smoke alarms go off.
Along with battery maintenance, keep your alarm system free of dust, debris, or any obstruction. This is especially important for alarms that make use of sensors. Follow the manufacturer or installer instructions for cleaning parts of the alarm system.
2. Keep Your Alarm System Records
Make sure to keep all documentation concerning your alarm system nearby. This goes for documents provided by the manufacturer and installer. Just as importantly, you should keep records of tests and maintenance performed.
If you don’t have a fire alarm system logbook, now is an excellent time to start one. Your records can help you or professional inspectors pinpoint issues and trends that can indicate a faulty alarm system or the need to upgrade to a better alarm system.
3. Keep Your Alarm System Plans Updated
Having an alarm system is one thing, but do your building occupants know what to do if the alarm should sound? You should already have an action plan in place that people know and can easily follow.
If anything changes with your commercial property, such as a shuffling of tenants or a remodel of a section, then make sure to update your action plan to accommodate those changes. If you upgrade your alarm system, you should also update your action plan.
If you install a new alarm system, you may have to make some adjustments to how people should respond to the alarms. This can include letting people know what different alarm types sound like, what they mean, and what people should do immediately if they hear one. Post these instructions and ensure people always have easy access to them.
4. Keep Your Alarm System in Line With Local Fire Officials
Always include your local fire department in any changes or upgrades to your alarm system. You can consult your fire department about everything related to fire prevention, protection, and safety. They’re available to help you figure out what kind of alarm system will work best for you.
The fire department can also help you stay in legal compliance. Many alarm systems will automatically alert the local fire department, so working with them only benefits you. Work with the fire department to set up collaborative testing to make sure your alerts reach them properly.
All these steps will help to keep your commercial fire system working for you as intended. However, you need to start with a professional installation from a certified service that knows fire alarm codes and regulations. For a commercial fire system you can trust, contact A Tech today.