How do you know when it’s time to replace or upgrade your fire alarm system? Testing your system might feel like a hassle, but you certainly don’t want to wait for a fire hazard to occur to realize that your fire alarm system isn’t working the way it should. Here are a few key signs that your fire alarm system is in need of an upgrade:
Signs Your Fire Alarm System Needs an Upgrade
If your fire alarm system is out of date and not working properly — it’s time to upgrade your fire safety equipment. Also, if your facility has changed, added processes, or undergone renovations or expansions, it’s likely time to update your fire alarm system to meet the potential risks of your space.
Your Fire Alarm System is Getting Old
Once a fire alarm system is about 10-15 years old, it requires more consistent system maintenance, begins causing more false alarms, and becomes less reliable. It’s a good idea to consider upgrading your fire alarm system before then to improve workplace safety and save money on repairs to an aging system.
Your Fire Alarm System is Insensitive or Too Sensitive
If your fire alarm system doesn’t meet its sensitivity test requirements, it’s time for an upgrade. Fire alarm systems can either be too sensitive or not sensitive enough. Alarms that are insensitive can’t be relied upon to warn employees of danger, while alarms that are too sensitive can be a nuisance and harm building productivity.
An additional concern with alarms that are too sensitive is that employees and tenants can become desensitized to the sound. If your buildings’ occupants can’t trust your fire alarm system, they’re less likely to respond appropriately in the case of a real emergency — which puts everyone at greater risk of injury or more serious harm.
Fire Alarm System Isn’t Working
While it might sound obvious, it’s also very true that you need to upgrade your fire alarm system if your current one isn’t working. Whether the system has gotten dirty and insensitive, the alarm has been tampered with, or an electrical component has failed, a fire alarm system that doesn’t work is just an accessory on your ceiling.
You’re Planning to Renovate or Expand
If you’ve recently renovated or are planning to expand or reconfigure your space, you may need to upgrade your fire alarm system as well.
Also, if you’ve changed what you do in your building— even if the space stayed the same — you may need to have your system inspected and upgraded. For example, the type of equipment or appliances you use or the amount of people the space is designed to hold may mean a change to your fire alarm update requirements.
Ready for a Fire Alarm System Upgrade or Replacement?
A professional fire protection provider can help you evaluate your current system and see how it can be adapted to meet local fire codes and make your facility safer. Whether your fire alarm system is getting older or you need to upgrade your technology, it’s still important to inspect your fire alarm system regularly to make sure it is performing well and effectively protecting your employees.
The best way to protect your fire alarm system, especially after a recent upgrade, is to schedule routine maintenance and inspection. If you’re looking for someone who can help you stay on track, talk to the Vanguard Fire & Security System team.