Phoenix Pacific

How to Tell When a Fire Alarm System Needs Replacing or Upgrading

If you manage a building, maintaining a functioning commercial fire alarm system (FAS) keeps the occupants, the property, and the assets within it safe during an emergency. The people within your building count on you to make sure your FAS is properly functioning and compliant with local fire codes. Eventually, though, the effectiveness of your FAS will degrade. How do you know when it is time to replace or upgrade? Here are four indications that it may be time.

4 Signs Commercial Fire Alarms Should Be Replaced or Upgraded

As your FAS ages, technology changes and manufacturers stop making the parts you need. Over time, compatible replacement parts become harder to find, more expensive, or eventually are just no longer available. Additionally, technicians familiar with your FAS will retire making technicians experienced with your FAS unavailable or very expensive. When parts cannot be found, or repairmen are

increasingly difficult and expensive to find, it may be time to replace or upgrade your FAS.

Even though parts might be available, sometimes the repairs are just too costly or are happening too frequently. This can happen even with the best planned maintenance programs. At some point you should consult an expert as to the viability of keeping your current system versus planning for a modernization.

The Marco Polo Condominium fire in Honolulu in 2017 spurred City legislation that forced hundreds of Honolulu’s high rise AOAO’s to perform Life Safety Evaluations (LSE’s). This in turn is requiring apartment buildings all over Honolulu to upgrade or replace their current fire protection systems. Legal obligations of this level are few and far between but smaller more

regular changes in the fire code may catch you off guard. Your insurance provider may even require changes in order for you to be insured. Talk to your service provider, insurance provider, or a Phoenix Pacific representative if you are not sure where you stand.

Significant infrastructural changes, like renovations and additions, may make your FAS noncompliant with current building and fire codes. For example, an open air space like a church or classroom might be required to upgrade it’s FAS if they were to have air

conditioning installed. Why is that? Before the air conditioning went in, the doors were open and most likely all the fire alarm horns were on the outside of the building. Once the doors close and AC is on, the fire alarm horns can’t be heard by those inside. In this case, your FAS may require design changes or upgrades in order to restore safety and adhere to local codes.

Turn to Phoenix Pacific for advice and service on anything fire protection related. Their experienced and certified technicians and staff can help guide you through basic maintenance obligations to turnkey upgrades. For more information on their services please visit them online at www.phoenixpacificinc.com.