Like every other capital equipment investment, your fire alarm has a limited life span and becomes obsolete with the advent of new codes and technologies. Whether your system is on its last legs, or you proactively want to upgrade what you have for better performance, you can benefit from looking closely at the latest fire alarm system trends.
All Protect Systems, Inc has been installing and upgrading the fire alarms for many of the Ontario area’s leading companies since 1996. By keeping abreast of the technology trends in the industry, they keep their customer’s premises as safe as possible. Some of the most beneficial industry trends include the following:
1) Multi-Criteria Detectors
Many current fire alarm systems have separate smoke, heat, CO2, and light/flame detectors, and it’s not uncommon for them to be installed in the same room. Each device requires its own wiring, zone, and mounting box, adding to the installation cost.
Several fire alarm manufacturers now offer multi-criteria detectors to enhance fire safety, reduce installation labor costs, and limit the eyesore of multiple sensors.
2) Alarm Voice Notification
It’s normal to associate fire alarm audible notification appliances with the traditional horns that fire marshals want to be loud enough to drive the occupants out of the building. Though effective, it’s a stressful way to notify people of a fire and tends to induce panic in a situation when people need to remain calm.
Though voice notification systems have served customers well for more than 40 years, they have recently become more popular as building owners incorporate complementary mass notification systems (MNS) to alert occupants of other possible dangers. For instance, an MNS might direct the occupants to remain in place rather than evacuate.
3) Wireless Sensors
Wireless smoke and heat sensors have been protecting Ontario businesses for years, and their use continues to grow. Longer-lasting batteries and improved wireless transmission technologies make wireless sensors a more attractive choice for many buildings.
While a wired connection is still considered the most reliable, there are situations where running wire is cost-prohibitive. Many of the newer fire alarm panels accommodate a hybrid solution of both wired and wireless sensors.
4) Ditching POTS
While plain old telephone service (POTS) has served fire alarm panels well for decades, newer communication technologies are replacing them at a rapid pace. The two technologies that encompass the industry trend of replacement of landline communication include:
- Cellular. The mobile communication industry is sunsetting 2G, and 3G networks, so many customers are upgrading to LTE communicators. While 5G is on the horizon, the LTE network promises to operate for at least a decade.
- IP. Ethernet connections that relied on the building’s internet connection are usually only approved for fire communication when there’s another communication pathway, such as POTS or cellular. However, internet service has become much more robust and is a quick and reliable way to transmit emergency signals.
5) Gradual Upgrade
Many modern fire alarm control panels have excellent backward compatibility, so facility managers don’t have to upgrade their entire system all at once. By phasing in upgrades and additions, they can help defer costs over time and minimize the disruption to normal operations.
Whether you wish to upgrade your fire alarm gradually, replace it entirely, or install one for a new building, understanding the current industry trends can save you money and better protect the lives and property in your building.
If you’d like to know more about the newest technology trends in fire alarms, All Protect Systems, Inc can help you choose the best solution for your property. Call them today to discuss the possibilities!