HOW MONITORED FIRE EQUIPMENT WORKS? – Issue #3
Tom Kunkel – 01-12-2017
Welcome back. In the last posting we talked about how the detection and reporting happens in Fire Systems. Now let’s spend a little time on the Audible Response generated by Monitored Fire Alarm System. If you missed an issue, please refer to the archive. They are all there.
At the building site or residence, when Smoke, Heat or fire “by-products” are detected by sensors and a Fire Alarm Event is started, loud sirens inside and outside the building are activated. Typically, these sirens sound an International Temporal pattern of three sequential blasts, then silence for one second, then three sequential blasts again. This pattern is repeated for a minimum of 12 minutes or until cancelled at a keypad. More often, there is no time limit on how long the patter of three blasts, silence, three blast. The siren will be shut off at a keypad or they will continue. The system operates on internal batteries, even without power. The goal is to make sure that everyone inside or outside the structure is aware that a Fire Alarm is in progress. Some commercial buildings have sprinkler system that come on where the fire (heat) is detected. Sprinklers are great at actual fire suppression, but they DO NOT provide early detection, siren response or instant reporting to Central Stations dispatching. Most fire codes also require bright strobe lights as part of the siren fixture. For people with hearing problems, strobes can be the difference between life and death.
Fire detection and reporting systems are, without a doubt, one of the greatest bargains money can buy. Their goal is to eliminate or greatly reduce the disastrous effects of structure fires. Please strip from this writing one vital question. Ask yourself this question when you see news coverage or learn of fire deaths and major property loss from fires. The question: “Did this family or business have 24×7 monitored fire detection, sirens/strobe and automatic reporting to a Central Station? ” Let the answer be your Wisdom! If there had been 24×7 monitoring of fire equipment, there could have been early detection and rapid response from the nearest Fire Department. Without 24×7 monitoring, quick dispatch and lifesaving response could not be automatic.
Soon you will see and learn here how fires are classified by the professionals and insurance companies. You will learn more about preventing structure fire. However, the point of this blog is to create wisdom and experience so that you can act before you are the victim. Structure fires will continue to justify having Fire Department Stations distributed in communities. Fires WILL HAPPEN. Undetected, un-reported, disastrous fires don’t have to happen to you!
Next time we’ll examine how and why insurance companies grant substantial discount when monitored fire alarm systems are present and maintained.
Your thoughts and questions are always welcome. Thank you for investing your time.
TOM KUNKEL – President & GM – Access Security, Inc.