Advanced Fire Alarm Systems and High-Quality Monitoring Minimize a Persistent Threat

July 20, 2017

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) found there were more than 1.3 million fires reported in the United States in 2015 alone. With half a million of these being structural fires, over $10 billion in property damage was sustained while nearly 2,700 Americans lost their lives and 13,000 were injured.

A properly monitored advanced fire alarm system can make it much more likely that a fire will be caught and stopped quickly, protecting property and keeping people safe. With an average of around one structure fire being reported each minute nationwide, any effort put into minimizing the damage that could be done will never be wasted.

Modular, Flexible, Reliable Fire Detection, Protection, and Monitoring

Thanks to the availability of modular sensors, bases, beacons, and other components, an advanced fire alarm system can be designed to best suit any particular commercial, industrial, or residential structure. Some commonly employed modules include:

  • Photoelectric Smoke Detectors. With a tiny beam of light shining on a photoelectric cell, a detector module can sense and respond to even the faintest wisp of smoke. Adjustable sensitivity levels, temporary shutoff switches, and other features help make cost-effective components like these mainstays of many systems.
  • Ionization-Based Smoke Detectors. A 2014 NFPA study found that smoke detectors relying on ionization are best able to react to flaming fires where little smoke is present. With a very small amount of safe radioactive material continuously emitting particles that strike a detecting plate, even the slightest amount of fire-induced haze can trigger the module.
  • Heat Detectors. Particularly in certain industrial and commercial environments, fires that could produce almost no smoke at all can be a danger. Heat detectors that can be calibrated to activate at an appropriate level can make it much more likely that such a fire will be identified quickly.
  • Sounders, Beacons, and Pull Stations. While reliable, always-on protection is important, the human element can never be neglected. A strategic mix of pull stations and alerting devices will help ensure that building occupants can sound the alarm manually and respond quickly whenever a fire is detected.

With modules like these providing crucial detection and alerting functionality, other components can often be integrated to further enhance the value a system will deliver. Having a valcom intercom installed along with a new fire detection system, for instance, can help cut costs while improving both everyday productivity and safety in the event of a problem.

UL Sets the Standards for Fire Safety, Detection, and Monitoring

Many fire alarm components will be certified for compliance with UL 864, the group’s “Standard for Control Units and Accessories for Fire Alarm Systems.” As many systems will be designed to function most effectively when monitored remotely and around the clock, seeking out ul central station monitoring services can help maximize the results.

Monitoring providers that meet the stringent UL 827 requirements will deliver a higher level of service than others. From being equipped with redundant connectivity and monitoring resources to employing only highly trained, qualified technicians or standards-compliant automated systems, central station services that carry the UL seal of approval bolster safety in many important ways. Coupling a well-designed, properly maintained alarm system with such a monitoring service can go a long way toward reducing the threat fires can pose in any structure or facility.