There are certain things that every property professional should be aware of (at least on the most basic level) to ensure that his or her building's fire-alarm system provides the protection required from initial install to replacement.
That's right--the truth is that your fire-alarm system should be replaced or upgraded periodically.
The most important thing you can do for your building and its occupants is to perform the proper inspection, testing, and maintenance of the fire-alarm system. What type of inspection, testing, and maintenance program do you have in place?
It doesn't happen often, but changes in state and federal laws can have far-reaching effects on the make-up of a fire-alarm system. A prime example of this is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
Knowledge of changes to the codes that affect your fire-alarm system can help you better prepare and budget for the possible cost increases associated with them.
While the fire-alarm system also deserves attention and may require changes, it is in the best overall interest of facility management and professionals to ensure that a quick fix or shortcut is avoided.
Beyond this, the most effective way to avoid creating an incohesive system is to develop a master plan for your fire-alarm system. This will help ensure that any additions to the system fall within your overall system objectives and help maintain a single point of annunciation.
Once armed with as-builts, contractors are better equipped to make logical decisions in determining the best way to expand on an existing fire-alarm system.
* Know about changes in building and fire-alarm system codes.
* Consider the fire-alarm system when facility renovation plans are being developed.