Having a business or home in the hustle and bustle of Miami can be exciting and rewarding. But having that business or home means you have to stay up to date with fire codes and regulations. Especially because it is hot year-round. But fires don’t just happen because of the weather. They can be electrical or other causes. This is why it’s imperative to have the right fire alarm system in place for your business or home.
You might feel like you don’t know where to start, or you don’t need to worry about it. But it’s not just about protecting you. It’s about protecting your family, friends, neighbors, and employees.
Let’s talk about how you can protect your Miami home or business with fire alarm systems.
What is a Fire Alarm System?
Fire alarm systems are very important because they set alarms and signals to warn anyone inside a property of potential danger if smoke, fire, or carbon monoxide is present.
This can be done through an ionization fire alarm system or a photoelectric fire alarm system. Today you might find a combination of the two together or set up through a property as they have different properties that make them work well. This is because they detect smoke differently.
The system can run through a hardwired or battery. It can also be paired up with several other parts of the security system to complete the overall package.
How do Fire Alarm Systems work?
A fire alarm system works by detecting fire, smoke, or carbon monoxide present in a building through photoelectric aromas or ionization alarms. Depending on their technique used to spot the problem, they will then alert all those around with a loud and consistent alarm to ensure everyone hears, so they can evacuate.
Likely, they will also alert authorities because of the way technology is set up. That way, the response team can get there as fast as possible and hopefully as little damage as possible.
Benefits of a Fire Alarm System in Miami
While safety is the obvious first choice when it comes to what types of benefits you will get with a good fire alarm system, other things like ensuring a good response from your fire department and protecting those around you are also high up there in benefit.
Here are the three main benefits we focus on:
- Quality detection at the early stages
- Quick response from emergency units
- Keeping everyone as safe as possible
The faster you can detect smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide, the more likely you are to get a quick response and therefore minimal damage to property and people. That’s why we go in this order. When a system can detect smoke or carbon monoxide right away, it can make a huge difference in how the story plays out.
Ionization, which we will get into has been said to have a quicker response rate than photoelectric fire alarms at the gleaming stage of a fire. However, in contrast, photoelectric does a better job at picking up smoke particles at the early stage.
A good quality fire alarm system is going to trigger a quick response after a quick detection. This allows your fire units and your emergency officials to get to the scene and quickly assess the situation. From here they can come up with a plan to prevent further damage and help shut down the emergency.
Injury or Illness Prevention
The above two desperately affect the last one, which is injury and illness prevention to the people around you and the building. Regardless of whether it is a home or your business, it’s important to keep those who are there safe. That’s why a good fire alarm system is really mandatory.
Types of Fire Alarm Systems
Now that we have talked about the benefits you get from the fire alarms, it is time to dive deeper into what fire alarm systems make the most sense and what the differences are between one another.
Here are the options you have when looking at fire alarms:
Ionization fire alarms as we talked about responding better to actual flames of fire. This is because the radioactive chemicals react to set the alarm when particles cross paths with them inside the system.
And offering something different is photoelectric that responds to what we call smoldering fires or smokey fires. This is because they use light to detect particles and when the particles block the light it sets the alarm off.
Some alarms will use a combination of the two in the product itself, and buildings In generals may place one of each throughout the building. This gives the best chance possible of catching fire early on.
Regardless of the type, you choose above, you will have to either have a wired or a wireless alarm system. It may not be up to you as wiring may not be available. Wiring ensures that the batteries don’t go out, but when the power goes out, there is another issue.
That’s why some people do prefer to go the non-wired route and operate on batteries. This is because the alarms will let you know when it is time to change the batteries, and you don’t have to worry about a wire malfunction.
When are Fire Alarm Systems Required?
The National Fire Protection Association requires that smoke alarms and fire alarm systems to some degree be installed in buildings, regardless of whether it is a commercial or residential property. Commercial properties have more codes to keep in line with federal and state regulations.
For most properties, it is suggested to have one in the kitchen, bedrooms, and hallways of a house. They should be spaced outs so that all areas are covered. If there is a garage, it is also important to have one there as well.
Do fire alarm systems produce signals?
There are three signals produced by a fire alarm. These signals let you know what type of danger or problem there is off the bat, which prepares not only the people but the authorities on their way for the situation. Sometimes there are just maintenance issues that need to be corrected by a certified team member.
- Power trouble
- Batteries not working
- Electrical issue
- Sprinkler valve error
- Compressor issues
- Duct detectors
- Smoke detectors
- Water flow switch
Certification Required for Fire Alarm Systems
Certifications are required for businesses and residential properties. This is especially true if the owner ever tries to sell that property. This ensures the home is set up with the right fire alarms system that meets industry standards and codes.
There are federal laws that a property will need to abide by but also state and sometimes town or city laws that have different requirements. This is something the owner is responsible for. These systems must be installed by an approved and certified fire technician.
They must have one of these common certifications:
- Certification in Fire Alarm Systems by National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies.
- Certified Fire Alarm Technician Levels I-V by the Electronic Security Association.
- Certified Systems Integrator by the Electronic Security Association.
The NFPA has put together a list of qualified people who you can call to install your fire alarm system.
Nationally certified is the overall theme that will give you the green light to go ahead and hire this person. This is a certification that makes sure the individual is trained right to set up a fire alarm system for a residential or commercial property.
Having said that not all certifications are the same. There are different certifications within this that will require more advanced training such as a single-family home versus a multifamily home. Or a commercial property. These require different plans and layouts.
Company Trained Employee
Companies that sell fire alarms will also have a set of employees that understand the manufacturing behind those systems. They then can install those very exact fire alarm systems on your property because they know how they work best.
They also may sell other brands but have an understanding of those brands and still are certified and qualified to install them on your property.
Local or State Authority
Your police officers and more important your firemen and women are also qualified to put in or fix your fire alarm should something need to be done. Firemen and women are going to have a better grasp than police officers, but there is a lot of cross-training in both departments making them both qualified.
Nationally Recognized Testing Company
This can be a company as we mentioned that sells fire alarms. That’s why Helios systems are a great option for this category because their employees can both sell you and set you up with the best fire alarms to ensure your utmost safety and protection.
Helios Security Product Showcase
At Helios, we know how important it is to not only have the right equipment in place for your fire alarm system but understand the installation process is crucial. Without proper installation, the entire building and the people become at risk which is why we provide outstanding products with great detection and are with you every step of the way. From layout and design to installation and maintenance, you can count on us at any time!
Fire Alarm Systems FAQs
Fire alarm systems are both easy and difficult to understand which is why we have left this section to answer your most frequently asked questions. While we definitely can answer these questions here if there is something that is not brought up your certified installer and company will absolutely be able to answer any other questions.
What happens to the system if the power goes out?
This is why we have backup batteries installed in most of the wired systems so that if the power does go out you have something working until the original situation can be fixed. You may find that most people opt for battery-powered systems in the first place to avoid this issue altogether.
Do expensive fire alarm systems translate to better quality?
Not necessarily. Fire alarms shouldn’t be cheapened out, but having said that it doesn’t automatically mean that it will do the job better. Because fire alarm systems have to work for safety and legal issues, it doesn’t really matter about the price tag. Usually, the translation becomes how complicated of a system you have to ensure the entire place is safe, rather than the quality of the fire alarm.
How much maintenance are fire alarms?
Fire alarm systems are little maintenance. When the batteries are low or there is a malfunction, you can simply call up someone who is qualified to fix the issue. Most of the time you won’t realize they are there as they don’t require much of anything.
Don’t Sweat It
No pun intended here, but don’t sweat the fire alarm set up! While it is great to understand this information above, you also should know that a good company like Helios will take care of you. Let the certifications and the technical stuff be handled by a technician. However, you should let them know what your layout of the property is because you know best.
That way you can have a property that is fully covered by a fire alarm system regardless of whether it is a photoelectric, an ionization, or a combination of the two. If the system is paired up with the security system, this will take a little more for the installation team to configure.
Regardless, leave it up to your Helios team to take care of you and get your needs squared away.