Phoenix Pacific

Modernizing a Fire Alarm System in Hawaii

Whether constructing a new building or remodeling an existing facility, fire alarm systems (FAS) are often overlooked by developers and owners. Even though a fire alarm system may cost thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars, they will allow the contracting process to choose their FAS rather than have a say in it themselves. Additionally, they may not realize that a building owner spends more money maintaining a fire alarm system than installing it. The decisions made before installation have long-term consequences that building managers and owners must live with for the next ten to twenty years. Here are some factors to consider before breaking ground.

Consult with the RIGHT engineers.

Though well intentioned, not every engineer does well when it comes to designing fire alarm systems. Fitting the right system to the building and the owner’s needs can be complicated. Occasionally, a system can be over engineered for its purpose. This causes problems once the system is in use. Ask questions about the fit of the system to your facility. Stay involved in the design process and make sure the engineer understands your needs. Most of all include a Fire Protection Engineer in your design process. Feel free to ask our sales representative for a recommended engineering firm.

Value Engineering saves everyone future headaches.

A quality fire alarm dealer will offer value engineering design services. This can be a great resource

  • towards educating you on what is available in the market,
  • ensuring the FAS that you install is appropriately designed and sized,
  • offers only the features you want and ensures you aren’t paying for features you don’t need,
  • and follows the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Working with the dealer and the Fire Protection Engineer can save the end-user money and future headaches once the system is in use.

Think about future maintenance.

Installing a system that can be factory serviced by more than one local service provider can save you time and money in the future. It gives you options when service is not timely, too expensive, or trusted. Edwards, Fire-Lite, Notifier, Silent Knight, and Gamewell-FCI, are some of the brands represented by more than one dealer in Hawaii.

Also, find out what the local service providers would charge for inspections and service. We have heard of rates as high as $300 per hour. By keeping this in mind you can manage your maintenance costs after the warranty is completed.

Commercial Tenants.

If your building has commercial tenant spaces, consider adding into your rental agreements that the same brand of FAS must be used in the tenant space as what is in the building’s system. You will avoid conflicts and maintain a level of control over your maintenance costs.

In the end…

Do not let your fire alarm system be decided by a contractor low bidding your project. After the warranty is done so is the contractor and you will have to live with whatever system they put in. Make sure you have a say and control the decision. Considering the maintenance of the building when choosing a fire alarm system will save thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours dealing with avoidable problems for years to come.

Contact a Phoenix Pacific, Inc. sales representative today at (808) 682-1000 or visit for more information.

About Phoenix Pacific, Inc. (PPI): Clients spanning all levels of government, military, and commercial sectors trust us for solutions to their facility needs and questions. We provide consultation, design, installation, preventive maintenance and troubleshooting service for an array of fire protection and life safety systems. PPI offers best-in-class technology as well as NICET-certified technicians trained on several brands. Fully licensed and insured, we leverage more than 40 years of experience working on projects such as high-rise buildings, aircraft hangars, large auditoriums, shopping centers, condominiums, and campus-wide school systems. We are active in civic and industry organizations, sharing our knowledge to improve the quality of life for our neighbors. PPI operates out of a 10,000 square foot facility in Kapolei, HI that includes a customer training room.