Fire alarms are a vital aspect of life safety for Ontario businesses. If you require a new fire alarm install in your commercial building, you probably want to know what to expect. There can be several reasons for installing a new fire alarm on your property, and these motivations determine the course of the installation.
If you’re building a new facility, a new fire alarm system will merely be one of the many systems that make up the technology and life safety infrastructure of your commercial building. Fire alarm systems may be included in the overall construction project, but some companies prefer to contract the installation company themselves.
If you want to send the project out to bid, you need to contact some local companies and have them survey the premises and prepare a design and price quotation for your fire alarm. Then you evaluate the different proposals and choose the one that best suits your goals and budget. You don’t need to know everything about fire alarms to do this, because the design and plans must be approved by the Ontario Fire Marshal.
Once you select your approved vendor, they’ll work in tandem with the other trades to install the necessary conduit, wiring, and sensors, to meet code and provide the best possible protection for life and property safety. While there’s a temptation to go with the lowest bidder, it may not always be the most cost-effective choice in the long run. Sometimes, the cheapest option can wind up being more expensive in the long run as maintenance and false alarms become costly over time.
System Upgrade or Replacement
Building usage changes over time and so does technology. The fire alarm system you had installed years before may be malfunctioning, have become obsolete, or your building has changed enough to require a new fire alarm install. If this is your situation, you may be wondering what to expect.
If your building or building use has changed, you’re going to need to hire a professional to assess your property and perform a site survey. He’ll analyze the building spaces in terms of the fire classification rating and decide the quantity and types of sensors your system needs for the best possible safety protection. Section 2.1.2. of the Ontario Fire Code spells out the classifications of buildings or parts of a building according to major occupancy.
If your existing system has become obsolete or is prone to false alarms, you still need a professional site survey. Your existing fire alarm may not meet the newest code requirements, so the person performing the site survey has to measure building dimensions and make a record of all of the existing sensors on site. He delivers that information to a fire alarm engineer who designs a new system tailored to your needs based on the most efficient new technologies and code requirements.
If the installation company you choose has to perform the work during your normal working hours, you can expect some disruptions to your normal working routine. Conduit and new wiring require an installation crew and maybe even the use of a lift if your ceilings are tall enough. Once the conduit and wiring are finished, the crew needs to install, label, and test the new sensors and notification appliances.
The testing of fire alarm systems is necessarily loud and time-consuming, so you can expect a lot of frowns from the building’s inhabitants. Fortunately, the installation crew will eventually finish their task, and you’ll have a brand new state-of-the-art fire alarm that will protect lives and property for years to come.