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Fire Safety Learning Center

Articles and other information related to fire safety equipment and procedures in Illinois.
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Fire Alarm 101: How Long Should Your System Last?

alarm clock

Fire Alarm 101: How Long Should Your System Last?

Whether you are a business owner or a landlord, it is important to have properly functioning fire alarm systems installed. The facility requires it and the system helps to protect those inside if a fire were to occur. Fire alarms offer an instant sound when they detect smoke and or flames. This helps everyone to get out in time, avoiding injury or even death. One question you must ask yourself to be a responsible building owner or landlord is how long will your fire alarm system last?

There is no tried and true answer to this question. With a fire alarm system, the unit will last based on several factors such as how much it is used, the type of system, etc. A full inspection must be done each year to ensure Chicago fire safety protocols are being followed and the unit is operating effectively. Check out a few details below to see if your system needs to be updated or simply kept in check for premium fire protection.

Fire Regulations

A fire alarm will need to be complaint with regulations based on your location. Regular maintenance and inspection ensures that your system is able to meet the regulations and work effectively. This includes the manufacturer of the fire alarm’s inspection and best practices along with local regulations.

Inspecting the Components

Each component of the fire alarm system is needed for proper function. If one element is not operational, the entire system can fail to provide a warning in the event of a fire. With Chicago fire safety laws, the components of a fire alarm must be reviewed during inspection for workability. This includes the pull locations for manual alarms, alert mechanisms like sounds or strobe lights as well as heat and smoke detectors.

The main alarm panel and sub panel needs to be reviewed along with the battery backups. By reviewing these components, an inspector can let you know if your system needs to be repaired or if it is functioning properly. An older unit with consistent problems will need constant repair, so it is a better choice to install a new system instead of hoping the old one works when needed.

Life Expectancy Contributors

When it comes to the life expectancy of your fire alarm system, the prime component is the environment. If the panel for your system is located in a clean and neat environment, then it should last for many years. Dust and dirt in an enclosed space can take years off the lifespan of the unit as these contaminants negatively affect the components of the unit.

Frequent operation can also play a factor. When an alarm is on for an extended period of time, on numerous occasions, it can cause issues with the sound or light of the system.

Overall, if you have your alarm system inspected on a regular basis by a professional, you can rest easy knowing it is working well. If you have common problems, consider installing a new system to protect everyone associated with your building without fear of improper function of the alarm system.  

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