How to tell if your fire alarm system needs an upgrade

Old fire alarm in a town

You may know that for optimum fire protection, every property needs a tailored fire alarm system. But it’s also important to remember that what is effective and industry compliant now, may not be in another ten years… or perhaps sooner.

At DEM Fire, we pride ourselves on our expert and holistic fire prevention solutions. We provide end-to-end services, including fire alarm system design, installation, asset management and fire compliance. So, we understand the intricacies of fire alarm systems and suitability to a wide variety of properties including shopping centres and stadiums.

There are several reasons why your fire alarm system would need an upgrade, from its age to changes in property usage or lack of maintenance. Here are the key considerations.

The age of the fire alarm system

While the manufacturer’s warranty will protect your fire alarm system for a set number of years, alarm systems also have a natural use by date. In general, if your alarm system is nearing ten years old or shows signs of failure such as multiple false alarms, we would suggest that we assess it to confirm its continued usability.

The lifespan of an alarm system will vary, based on the components, configuration and your type of property. A fire alarm system that we regularly service is also likely to last longer than one without asset management.

Functioning fire alarm systems are crucial to ensure that your staff or tenants can exit the building in the event of an alert, that the alarm system triggers the opening of exit doors and that it successfully notifies external parties, including the fire brigade, at the first instance of smoke or flame.

New moved in boxes and office furniture inside a new building

A change in building usage

Fire alarm systems are complex systems, configured to property size, the number of staff and tenants and the type of business. A warehouse that houses chemicals for instance, will likely have a different fire prevention system to a shopping centre, an office building housing valuable data or a residential strata building.

It’s very important that you have your fire protection services assessed and updated with any change to occupancy or building usage, however small.

If you plan to convert a storage space to a new office, partition your office to accommodate extra staff, or if you have a new type of business moving into your commercial property, it may mean changes to your fire alarm system design and operation. Our accredited practitioners will check that the elements of your fire alarm system meet industry standards and are fully compliant, based on the number of occupants and building usage.

Renovations or building work

Every fire alarm system will also need assessing and likely upgrading in the event of property renovation or extension.

A new space will need additional components for both the fire safety systems and fire alarm systems, and not all properties are equipped to handle additional fire system devices. Adding new devices to an ageing fire alarm system may not be effective or cost-efficient, given the whole system may need replacing in the not-too-distant future.

Additionally, using an existing alarm system for a renovated property or a new expansion may not meet stringent compliant codes and safety requirements.

Man checking the fire alarm control panel

Why asset maintenance is vital

The best way to protect your fire alarm system and ensure it is effective and suitable for your business is regular asset maintenance.

At DEM Fire, our team can check and assess that every element of your alarm system is fully functional, that the system programming is up to date with the latest software and firmware updates and that it consistently meets all compliance requirements and industry standards.

At DEM Fire, we go above and beyond to ensure every one of our clients has an expert fire prevention solution. Please contact us to discuss your fire alarm system maintenance or upgrade.

Contact DEM Fire & Essential Services Group

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