In its 2012-2013 annual report, New York City Fire Department has reported over 25,000 incidents of structural fires.   Watch such an incident recorded at W 48th and 10th Ave in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC.

 

 Fire Alarm systems give critical early warning of a fire or smoke condition enabling people to react quickly and evacuate safely.  It also transmits a signal to a supervising station and also to those who can take action, the ‘Fire Department’. To cut structural fire incidents at its bud, preventive measures like fire-system inspections and testing should be done periodically and ensure all fire alarm system components function properly.

 

Fire Alarm Inspection’s objective is to inform the building or business owner of the imperfections and breakdowns of a fire alarm system with the goal of redressing them as soon as possible.

 

The inspection, testing and servicing of fire alarm systems, systems initiating devices, and notification appliances shall comply with the requirements of the NYC Fire Code, NFPA 72 – national fire alarm and signaling code and the equipment manufacturer’s recommendations and verify the correct operation of the fire alarm system.

 

 

 

 

 

At any FDNY Fire Alarm System inspection and testing, an S-97 or S-98 Certificate of Fitness holder must be present. The holder must make an entry in the premises log book, including the holder’s name, Certificate of Fitness number, employer, as well as record the purpose of the visit and its official outcome.

 

The S-97 or S-98 Certificate of Fitness was developed in order to certify technicians who program, test, inspect and service fire alarm systems in the City of New York.

 

All technicians of ASM Integrators are S-97 or S-98 Certified and familiar with NFPA 72, NYC Fire and Building Codes, the Rules of the City of New York (3-RCNY), NYC Electrical Code and FDNY Fire Alarm Bulletins that are applicable to their performance.

 

Get in touch with ASM Integrators anytime and get to know the many different fire alarm components that come with different testing procedures and frequencies. Below are the testing frequencies of some of the more common components:

 

Annual Requirements:

-        Test & visual inspection of panel functionality, LED’s, fuses, etc…

-        Test panel battery charger

-        Battery discharge test

-        Test & visual inspection of horns, strobes, chimes, & bells etc…

-        Test & visual inspection of smoke detectors

-        Test & visual inspection of heat detectors

-        Test & visual inspection of duct smoke detectors

-        Test & visual inspection of Electromechanical Releasing Devices (Solenoid)

-        Test & visual inspection of Voice Evacuation equipment

Semiannual Requirements

-        Test of sprinkler water flow switches (flow water or manually trip flapper)

-        Test of sprinkler valve tamper switches (operate valves)

-        Visual inspection lead-acid battery (swelling or loose connections)

-        Test batteries – load voltage

Quarterly Requirement

-        Visual inspection of all fire sprinkler devices connected to the alarm. This includes water flow switches and valve tamper switches.

-        Test of fire pump monitored points (loss of phase, phase reversal, pump running etc…)

 

 

 

Building owners are responsible for scheduling inspections and testing of fire alarm systems. Some of the prerequisite documentations for the inspection are:

  • a plan or work application (Form PW-1) from the Department of Buildings
  • a plan examination (Form TM-1)
  • a set of approved 24″ x 36″ plans
  • ‘As-Built’ riser diagram, data sheet
  • A Form A-433
  • Electrician’s sign-off form

Copies of a standard Inspection and Testing Form may be obtained at www.NFPA.org. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) creates codes and standards for fire protection and suppression systems. Post the inspection, keep a copy of the completed Inspection and Testing Form for yourself and your insurance carrier and send a copy to the local Fire Department.

 

While many building owners or business owners might not fully appreciate the periodical call of a fire alarm inspection, there are certain benefits associated with it:

  • Adherence to Fire Alarm Code-NFPA 72 and meet requirements of the fire inspectors

-        We definitely won’t like to receive a ‘Notice of Violation’ from the FDNY, would we?

  • Meet requirements of the local building department and insurance carrier
  • Safer Building for its business owner, clients, employees, visitors, shoppers etc…
  • Improves resale value of the building  and possibly a reduction in insurance premiums

 

If you know more benefits that you would like to share, please drop a few lines in the comments section below.

 

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If you’ve got a business, you need to protect yourself, your employees, and your business contents and premises from the threat of fire. It’s also notable to remember that if you live in Long Island or New York City, space is at a premium and you are likely in very close proximity to your neighbors. If you don’t have a good, operational fire alarm system installed, you’re not just risking your own a livelihood or life; you’re also risking those of your neighbors’.

 

It isn’t enough just to get a good fire alarm system installed, though. You also need regular fire alarm repair and maintenance, in order to make sure your system is operational and up to date, with no problems that prevent its correct operation. The contractor or dealer who installs your system for you should make sure that all current codes are met; regular inspections will also ensure that the system remains operational and up to date. Should codes change, your contractor will also be able to recommend whether or not repair will be adequate to meet those codes, or if replacement as necessary. And of course, if your system ever becomes unusable, it will be repaired or replaced as a matter of course.

 

Hiring a good contractor to ensure regular fire alarm inspection, as well as repair or replacement, is not just good business. It’s the law for New York City and Long Island. You need to make sure that the contractor who undertakes your fire alarm repair and maintenance is reputable. When you first get ready to install your system, the fire marshal or other applicable official will visit your premises and tell you what you need to have. Then, it’s up to you to hire a reputable dealer to do the installation, as well as fire alarm repair and maintenance. The dealer you work with should be certified by the National Institute for Certification of Engineering Technologies (NICET), and should be licensed to assess your site for its needs, as well as to wire, install, and monitor the system.

 

Repair, or replacement?

 

Regular repair and maintenance is also important after the initial installation. A reputable dealer with the above qualifications will be able to do that for you. While it may be cost effective most of the time to do fire alarm repair rather than replacement, there are also times when your dealer may advise you to replace instead. This is necessary if there are code changes, for example, that make repair impossible or prohibitively expensive as compared to replacement.

 

ASM Integrators is a leading NYC and Long Island full staff integrator, providing security products/services to keep your business, property and employees safe.  Learn more about <a href=“http://www.asmintegrators.com/fire-alarm-service</a>fire alarm service</a> and other aspects of fire systems and protection by visiting our website.

 

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Whether you own an art gallery or your business setting is an office or manufacturing facility, a Siemens fire alarm system offers exceptional protection for your property and patrons.  There are many systems you could choose, and if you are like most NYC or Long Island business owners you probably assume that one system is as dependable as the next.  There are a few things you should know about the Siemens fire alarm system before you make a final decision for your business.

 

Fire protection is not a “one size fits all” solution

 

Businesses are as different as people are.  Some are small and on a single level, while others take up acres of land or exist on multiple levels.  It is important that you choose a system that can be tailor-made to your needs, which is one advantage of a Siemens fire alarm.

 

Greater compatibility and flexibility

 

In order to safeguard your business to the fullest extent, you want a system that offers high-performance devices that have been proven to offer the ultimate in protection.  Some of the devices and systems found with the Siemens brand are an integrated digital emergency voice evacuation system, multiple FireFinder networking system which is compatible with MXL, and special hazards extinguishing systems.

 

The company also offers a variety of panels, including MXL, SXL, FS-250, System 3 and FireFinder.  The MXL offers flexible architecture, and can meet the requirements of a wide scope of applications.  This series of systems is UL Listed 864 and 1076, NFPA 72 compliant, Coast Guard approved and is a far superior system in terms of flexibility and expansion, with integrated voice, large system capacity, peripheral support and many other features essential to businesses today.

 

The MXL system is capable of monitoring hundreds of input devices that include heat and smoke detectors, sprinkler system pressure, tamper and flow switches, visual warning devices and more.  When you want a system that you can count on to protect your property and lives in any given situation, the Siemens fire alarm is a far superior choice. Its versatility, advanced technology and integration capabilities make this the number one fire system for businesses large and small, all across the nation.

 

When you choose a Siemens fire alarm, you are choosing a name you can trust and that you know without a doubt will keep your property and employees

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As a NYC or Long Island business owner, no doubt you know the importance of a fire alarm test – but is your system tested on a regular basis to ensure that your property, assets and employees are protected to the fullest possible extent should a fire break out?  New York City is notorious for its tall buildings and skyscrapers; however, the structure of many of these buildings put lives and businesses at risk.  If it has been a while since you have had a fire alarm test performed, perhaps it’s time to freshen up on what is (or should be) involved.

 

Why have a fire alarm test?  It’s the law.  Here are a few other reasons.

 

Ÿ  If your system isn’t functioning properly, lives are at stake – not to mention your property and business.  A well maintained system means a safer working environment.

 

Ÿ  It is essential that you meet the requirements of fire inspectors, the local building department and your insurance carrier.  If requirements are not met, your insurance carrier could potentially reject any claim should you fail to have proof of thorough yearly inspections.

 

Ÿ  Your fire alarm could generate “false” alarms if components are not tested regularly.  This wastes not only your productivity and that of your employees, but wastes fire department resources as well.

 

Ÿ  If you fail to test your system when it is required, you may be held liable for injuries sustained by employees, tenants or patrons.  In the event of a death, you could be facing a wrongful death lawsuit.

 

There are many aspects of a fire alarm test, some performed on an annual basis, others on a weekly, quarterly or semiannual basis.  Depending upon your system, sprinkler waterflow and valve tamper switches should be tested, as well as load voltage of batteries, control panels, fuses, LED’s, smoke and heat detectors, strobes, horns, bells, voice evacuation equipment and more.

 

There is no doubt that a fire alarm test will disrupt the workplace, but this is a small price to pay to protect your property and the lives of all who enter your business.  However, disruption is minimal and it is essential that all components of your system are tested so that requirements are met and your system continues to function properly.  The failure of even one small component could mean that your fire alarm does not work, and that lives are placed in jeopardy.

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Fire alarm engineering is an important aspect of any system designed to protect your business property, employees and other assets in case of fire.  Most NYC and Long Island business owners know that they want a dependable, quality system.  Other than that, most business owners know very little about the system being used to safeguard their business.  It makes no difference whether you run an executive office, small retail shop or expansive production or manufacturing plant – engineering is crucial as to how well your system works to protect your livelihood, and human life.

 

Why is fire alarm engineering so important?

 

This aspect of a fire alarm system is important in any setting, but particularly in New York City where skyscrapers and high-rise buildings dominate the landscape.  The design an engineer lays out is all-important is regards to the level of protection provided for your unique needs.

 

Business owners have many things to worry about; how the alarm system is designed is not usually of any consequence.  You may assume that there are smoke detectors, strobes and perhaps a sprinkler system, but other than that you have no clue.

 

In fire alarm engineering, the engineer plays a key role in designing a system that offers the ultimate protection for your company, based on the size and structure of your business, number of employees and other factors.  An engineer can incorporate his understanding and knowledge of various systems and how they relate to protection, control, detection, alarms and extinguishment.

 

Many factors are taken into consideration when designing a system for a particular business, such as construction materials used in the building, how resistant the structure is to fire, interior finish, number of exits, occupant loads and more.  The engineer can then analyze risks and hazards and lay out a system that offers your property the greatest level of security in case of fire.  Once the design is in place, technicians can lay out the system in accordance with the specifics laid out by the engineer.

 

In a nutshell, the engineer should be capable of providing an integrated solution that works for the unique needs of the customer. Now you understand the basics of fire alarm engineering, and its importance to the safety and welfare of your property, patrons, inventory, employees and other assets.  Should you have your system reviewed to ensure that it is up to standard and offers the ultimate in protection?

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Business owners rarely give fire alarm installation a second thought; as long as you have a system, your property, employees and assets are protected, right?  Not so fast.  The installation of your system is crucial in whether it works properly.  It should be installed by technicians who are licensed, knowledgeable and experienced in all aspects of fire alarm installation.

 

While expert installation is important in any commercial or business setting, this is particularly true in the New York City and Long Island areas, where you find more skyscrapers and high-rise buildings than anywhere else in the U.S.  A company that specializes in security can protect your business in a number of ways, including:

 

Thorough inspection of your premises.  Prior to installation, a reputable company will send a representative to your business you will inspect your business in order to determine what type of system may be most suitable for your needs.  You also want a company that will take your budget in to consideration while still offering reliable security.

 

Professional installation.  Installing any type of security equipment to protect your business requires a professional who is skilled, experienced and knowledgeable.  You may have a friend or relative who is technically or mechanically oriented, but that doesn’t mean they have any business installing a fire alarm system.  This is a measure that can save lives – and your business.  So leave it to the experts.

 

Monitoring, inspection and more.  Not only is proper fire alarm installation crucial in safeguarding your business and employees, how that system is maintained is just as important.  By hiring a company dedicated to business security and all that those systems encompass including monitoring and inspection, you can rest assured that you, your property and all those who step foot on your property are as safe as possible should a fire break out.

 

It’s easy to go with the first commercial fire alarm installation company you come to in the Yellow Pages, or one that is located closest to you – but it may not be the best decision you make.  Go with a company that specializes in commercial security, one that is reputable and trusted when it comes to keeping property and lives safe from potential danger.  When you rely on professionals that takes an integrated approach, providing engineering and design, monitoring, inspection and more, you experience peace of mind.

 

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New York City and Long Island businesses small and large should consider whether their fire alarm service is thorough and all encompassing.  In these areas, enormous buildings (high-rise, skyscrapers) can become death traps in the event of a fire, particularly if your system isn’t functioning properly.  It is every business owner’s desire to keep their property, patrons and employees safe and secure.  Here’s what you need to know.

 

Fire alarm service is much more than the system itself

 

Naturally, you want a system that is efficient and designed to meet your unique needs.  Your business may be in a corporate office setting, or you may run a retail shop.  Maybe you are the CEO of a large manufacturing firm, and the setting is an industrial building or warehouse that spreads over many acres.  The type of system you choose is important, and the merchant you buy from should staff experts who help determine the best solution for your needs.

 

Other than the equipment, what else should you consider?

 

Monitoring, installation, engineering, inspection, and design are all crucial aspects of any fire alarm service.  Just like with any other equipment or machinery, things can go wrong – a sprinkler system malfunctions, batteries go dead, strobes or bells cease to work.  What would happen if a fire were to break out, and your alarm failed to work properly?  Your business, inventory and other assets – as well as lives – could be lost.  It’s something you don’t want to think about, but security is necessary in today’s business world.

 

The design and engineering of your system is crucial; your business should be evaluated for unique hazards or risks that exist, so that your system can be designed in a way that is most effective for keeping your property and employees safe.  When it comes to commercial fire alarms, there is not a “one size fits all” solution.

 

Constant monitoring and frequent inspection are also essential for safeguarding your business.  Monitoring offers peace of mind; your business is being protected around the clock, 365 days per year, 24/7.  Should a fire break out when your property is vacated, the fire department and other authorities are notified in a split second.  Thorough inspection of all components ensure that your system is properly functioning, and will work should the unthinkable happen.

 

Do you feel confident with your fire alarm service?  If you cannot count on your system to work at any given moment in time, your very livelihood and the lives of those who enter your business may be at risk.  Depend on professionals who specialize in security for businesses, and who take an all encompassing approach to safeguarding property and lives.

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While you may not consider fire alarm design when choosing a system to protect your business and its occupants, design plays a crucial role in how well your building, property and employees are protected.  It’s easy to assume that you simply go out and “buy” a fire alarm system to safeguard your property, but protecting your premises involves more than that.

 

To put it simply, you should consider having a licensed professional design a system that is suitable for your particular needs; building size and structure are two factors that come in to play and are extremely important in designing an effective alarm.  By having a system designed according to the particular specifications of your business, you will enjoy peace of mind knowing that you have maximum safety and efficiency should a fire occur.

 

Fire alarm design can be complex

 

Think of your home; would a multi-story building where dozens of people work require the same fire alarm design as that of your home?  Of course not.  The design of a system is undertaken by an engineer, who takes in to account many factors including how many levels are in the building, its composition, where heat sources are located and how many exits there are along with the location of those exits.

 

For larger public buildings, design often includes supplemental fire safety features such as communication devices and sprinkler systems.  Engineers work to design a fire alarm system that will provide the ultimate protection for your property, inventory and employees based upon the factors mentioned above.  Inspection of the property is performed so that the engineer can determine where alarms should be located, where wiring may be required and other possible electrical needs that should be integrated in the designing of the alarm.

 

Another aspect of proper fire alarm design is determining if existing wiring is up to code, and whether the system will be connected directly to the fire department or company where the alarm system was purchased.  It is imperative that in the event of a fire or smoke, authorities are notified promptly in order to minimize the potential damage and save lives.

 

As you can see, fire alarm design encompasses far more than having a few smoke detectors installed.  To ensure your business and its occupants are protected to the highest degree, consider the importance of fire alarm design.  In cities like New York City where high-rise buildings and skyscrapers are the norm, take no chances when it comes to your business, property and occupants.  The right design could save your livelihood and the lives of your staff.

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False alarms can be a real nuisance, not to mention frightening.  Dependable fire alarm maintenance plays an important role in keeping your alarms functioning properly, and eliminating the majority of false alarms.  When you consistently have alarms going off when there is no real danger, it disrupts your business activities, which costs you money due to unproductive downtime.

 

Benefits of fire alarm maintenance

 

Ÿ  Fewer nuisance alarms

 

False alarms and lack of fire alarm maintenance go hand in hand.  Your system equipment should be checked, cleaned and tested on a regular basis, which will help ensure that the alarm sounds only when there is a true danger.  How well your fire protection system performs is directly related to whether you have a good maintenance program in effect.

 

Depending upon the type of system installed, inspection and maintenance are usually performed on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis.  When alarms fail to work properly and sound falsely, it can not only put an undue burden on the fire department and other authorities causing them to possibly be unavailable where a real danger exists, employees may become complacent because they are used to the alarms going off without reason – meaning they may not take precautionary measures.

 

Ÿ  Increased protection of your property and employees

 

Fire alarm maintenance is essential not only to keep your property safe, but those who occupy the premises such as employees, patrons and visitors.  Dust, dirt and other particles often cause problems with smoke detectors; improper maintenance can lead to damage of your equipment.  An alarm that is functioning properly and well maintained provides security and peace of mind.

 

Ÿ  Reduced repair costs

 

When your fire alarm is in good condition, it reduces costs related to emergency repairs and false alarms.  Frequently, regular maintenance and upkeep can help you avoid purchasing new components or equipment.  Properly maintained, a good system can last for decades with only minor adjustments or equipment additions should you decide to expand.

 

Should you have staff perform maintenance, or should you rely on the manufacturer’s service organization?  The fact is, few maintenance personnel have the knowledge and experience that qualified technicians do.  If your desire is to keep your property and your employees safe and prevent frequent false alarms, have experts with the skill and experience handle your fire alarm maintenance needs.  Overall you will save money and avoid the unnecessary hassles and inconvenience of dealing with frequent false alarms.

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In every business, it is essential that you have a reliable fire alarm system; however, what do you do when you need fire alarm repair?  You may be tempted to try to determine what the problem is yourself, or even make the repairs.  This is not recommended, as most people are not qualified and certainly not experts when it comes to something so essential to saving lives in the event of a fire.

 

Fire alarm repair is something that most businesses only need every few years, but these repairs are an essential line of defense meant to protect your property, employees and other assets in times that could be life-threatening.  Most systems work around the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure that your possessions are safeguarded.  However, even the most reliable systems need an occasional update or repair.

 

Fire alarm repair should be performed by qualified experts

 

When you do need repairs made to your fire alarm, it is essential that you rely on technicians with the skill, experience and knowledge to make the repairs.  Your alarm should be in constant working order, and will be as long as you rely on trained professionals to perform the work.

 

In most cases, having your system maintained on a regular basis can prevent the need for repairs.  However, it’s good to know who to call when your system is not working properly.  A quick repair will restore security to your business – and peace of mind.

 

When it comes to fire alarm repair, here are some of the most common repairs performed:

 

-     Replacement of corroded electrical wire used in battery-free smoke detectors

 

-     Replacement of speakers and other worn-out parts

 

-     Recalibration of smoke sensors

 

-     Replacement of strobe lights used to warn those on the property of a fire

 

-     Reconnection of alarms so that all sound off when smoke is detected by a single unit

 

-     Detection or troubleshooting failures in circuit boards

 

In addition, it is important that the technician who performs your fire alarm repair is familiar with common manufacturers; many professionals stock most of the components and replacement parts so that they can repair your alarm in short order, restoring security to your premises.

 

Expert fire alarm repair should not be taken lightly; while it may seem more cost effective to hire a “Jack of all trades” or do it yourself, why risk the safety of your property – not to mention lives?

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