Frequently Asked Questions About Fire Alarm Systems & Maintenance

Frequently Asked Questions About Fire Alarm Systems & Maintenance

1. What is the purpose of a fire alarm system?


A fire alarm system combines different types of detection of smoke, heat, and fire with the purpose of saving lives in the case of a fire. The system alerts the system monitoring company, the proper authorities, and the occupants to take action as a fire is starting or if there is smoke that could become a fire.

2. What are the advantages of fire alarm systems?


A fire alarm system provides much more protection than having individual smoke detectors. According to a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) survey of households with occurrences of fires, homes with interconnected smoke detectors on every floor were 11-22% more likely to alert occupants in the case of a fire than in houses with individual smoke detectors. The system also alerts the authorities, which saves lives in the case that the occupant is unaware of the fire or unable to reach the phone. A fire alarm system is a requirement for many commercial buildings.

3. Are fire alarm inspections required?


Yes, federal and local law requires periodic fire alarm inspection and maintenance.

4. How often do fire alarms need to be inspected?


Fire alarm systems must be tested annually by licensed technicians. Suppression systems must be tested every six months. In a large building, you may need monthly inspections scheduled in order to test a different zone every time. In order for your fire alarm system to remain effective and up to code, it is recommended to hire a fire system maintenance company such as Palmer Electric to perform required periodic maintenance and repairs upon inspection.

5. What is the best place to put a smoke detector?


According to National Fire Protection Association Standards, smoke detectors should be placed on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and outside each sleeping area. Other important areas to install smoke detectors are: no more than 10 feet from cooking appliances, in the living room, and by the basement ceiling near the stairs. The smoke detector should be placed near the ceiling with no more than 12 inches from the top of the smoke alarm to the ceiling.

6. How often do smoke detectors need to be tested?


Smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month using the test button. Smoke detectors with replaceable batteries should be replaced at least once per year. Follow the manufacturer instructions for testing and maintaining the smoke detector.