If you own or manage a building, there's no doubt you do all you can to take care of your employees. But securing the building and protecting against the threat of fires is equally important. Fire sprinklers and alarms often go hand in hand. But do you really need a sprinkler system if you have the alarm monitored by a professional company? Read on to learn the advantages of having both.
How do Sprinkler Systems Work?
It only takes about 30 seconds for a fire to spread out of control. From there, a flashover can occur in 4-5 minutes. This is when everything in a room is hot enough to ignite, and it often occurs before the first fire trucks arrive.
Certain components of the sprinklers detect when a fire is present. And they are designed to only be used where needed, so your entire building doesn't get doused with water if the flames are initially isolated to one corner.
According to the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, sprinkler systems are not terribly expensive, and they cut down on the risk of death by 82%. Not only that, they can help prevent the spread of fire to the rest of your building.
How Do Fire Alarms Work?
Fire alarms can be initiated manually or automatically. If someone in your building spots a fire, they can manually press a button or pull a lever to alert the rest of the building. They should be easy to see and located near exits.
Automatic initiators vary, and they're activated when they sense a change in the environment, such as the presence of smoke or heat. This generally trips a loud siren to sound, accompanied by flashing lights for those who may be hearing impaired.
Do You Need Monitoring with a Sprinkler System?
Fire alarm monitoring is so important, especially for those occasions when a fire breaks out at night or when the building is unoccupied.
When the alarm goes off, the fire department is automatically dispatched and firefighters sent. The monitoring company typically receives instructions to call the building owner, too, so you know as soon as there's a problem.
Sprinkler systems are required by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) for buildings of a certain size or occupancy because they are known to reduce the risk of death and damage. But like most things, they're not 100% guaranteed to do all the work. In some situations, they can keep the fire at bay until the firefighters arrive on the scene. Therefore, even if your building is small and isn't required by law to have both, dual protection from sprinklers and monitoring still offers the most peace of mind. For more information, contact companies like Fyr Fyter Inc.