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More than alarms, these are life-safety systems

Local team helps clients navigate government-regulated fire alarm safety mandates

Your building Fire Alarm System requires yearly inspection and monthly checks. Not only is it wise to ensure your investment is protected, it is mandated by the municipality and the provincial government, and it is strictly enforced by the Provincial Fire Marshall.

While you can do the monthly checks internally, there is value is choosing a third party whose experience and training can pick up on potential issues.

To help ensure your building is ready for the annual inspection, you will need to have your system checked. Often, the biggest issue each year is being ready. David Phillips from Wilsons Security says the company can help with that.

“We’ll reach out to the client a month before it's due and get their system check scheduled. It’s a complete evaluation of the system; all input devices, output devices, and the system batteries. It is a check to make sure that system at the time of that inspection is 100% operational. Anything that doesn't operate properly during the test would be listed on a report as a deficiency for the client to address before the inspection.”

There are many components involved within a Fire Alarm System. Along with the alarm sounding, there are speakers, notification devices, monitoring, batteries, and more.

Often, the batteries are where choosing professionals to inspect your system pays off, “Batteries can operate fine, but they can get corrosion on them. Corrosion is a sign that the batteries are going bad, so that would be something we would bring back to the client to be fixed.”

Once the inspection of your system is completed, then what?

“A couple of days later, the client gets a report that will tell them what passed and what failed. We'll also give them recommendations on things that possibly should be done, but are not mandated to be done,” Phillips says that because many structures are older and built under a previous version of building code, the systems they currently use do not meet today’s strict requirements and they enjoy grandfathered status.

With many buildings undergoing renovations, their grandfathered system will no longer meet code requirements. An important consideration before any work can be completed, Phillips continues “When they pull a permit for the work that they're doing at that point, the decision would be made whether or not they need to upgrade in full. If they're doing a major renovation and rebuilding the interior from scratch, in all likelihood, they'd have to bring it up to current code standards.”

As the saying goes, Rome was not built in a day, and completing a full upgrade may not be feasible for the building owner. But, Phillips says, progress can be made with recommended upgrades.

“We can phase the upgrades in overtime if the client wants to do them. They don't have to do them right away, but those are those are things that we see as weak spots in the system that we think should be addressed and can help make their facility as safe as possible. Certainly, the longer that system deficiencies go unaddressed, potential issues can compound, so we hope our clients will work toward their upgrades as soon as they can.”

Using a third party like Wilsons Security to monitor, assess and inspect your fire alarm safety system gives you additional proof of its performance and performance status. David Phillips, “We hope never, but if they have a fire and there's something that that happens, either extensive damage or injury or whatever, they can come back to us and we'll have maintenance records for them; we'll be able to show the level of maintenance that was provided.”

Ultimately, the stakes are both pricey and priceless, David Phillips “They're life safety systems. They're protecting your residence or your employees or your tenants as well as protecting the facility itself. A non-functioning fire alarm system can result in a lot of building damage, injury, even death.”

Avoid gaps in your protection, trust the experienced, highly-trained team at Wilsons Security.

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