By: John Gitua, Operations Manager Technical, SGA Security Kenya
When you walk into a building, do you ever consider the possibility of fire breaking out and whether there are measures set in place to contain it? Fire alarm systems are designed to warn of the outbreak of fire thus allowing evacuation and appropriate firefighting action to be taken before the situation gets out of control. Fire alarm systems pick up smoke in the air or unusual temperature in a room and alert you. The alarm will activate and give you enough time to evacuate the building and call the fire department, thereby helping keep you and your family safe while protecting your property.
When installing fire alarm systems, consider the following:
Ease of installation
The ease of installation is something to consider when choosing a fire alarm system. For instance, battery-powered fire alarm systems are easy to install, and one can change the batteries without difficulties. This makes them a great choice for residential buildings. Hard-wired systems, on the other hand, are hard to install, but are the best option for business premises since they are more reliable than battery-powered ones.
Determine the mounting location.
When installing fire alarms, ensure that all the rooms that are highly susceptible to fire are covered. In residential areas, install them in rooms such as, in the kitchen, living room, garage, and bedrooms. Do not install the alarm in bathrooms since the steam produced by the shower may cause false alarms. In commercial buildings, install fire alarms at intervals in every room and corridor. Install them on the roof/ceiling since smoke rises upwards thereby enabling the system to detect potential fire and sound alarm fast enabling you to save yourself, others, and your property.
The area and triggers
In commercial and industrial areas which are big and have many severe triggers, such as chemicals, faulty machines, electricity, and flammable agents that can create a fire, it is best to combine fire alarm systems with fire suppression systems. Not only will they notify you of a fire outbreak but also help in extinguishing the fire using water and other relevant agents. The system will help minimize the damage before the firefighters arrive.
Type of fire alarm system needed.
A fire risk assessment will determine the type of fire alarm system required for your business premises. This will guide you to choose a system, either one that has smoke detectors, Heat sensors, or an Automatic Fire Suppression system.