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Are Fire Alarms Connected to the Fire Department?

Posted on: January 31, 2018

Installing a fire alarm in your building is an important step for ensuring optimal fire safety. After all, while a fire alarm doesn’t actively put out the blaze, it alerts everyone in the building to evacuate immediately.

What if a fire occurs when no one’s around? Who will call the authorities for help? Are fire alarms connected to the fire department? Fire alarms can be connected to the fire department through fire alarm monitoring, but the default option is a “single-station” fire alarm, which is not connected to the fire department. With fire alarm monitoring, the system is connected to the fire department.

When smoke sets off a fire alarm, heat triggers a sprinkler head, or someone activates a manual pull station, a message is sent to the central monitoring station where an operator immediately notifies the appropriate local fire department.  Emergency responders dispatch to your location without delay to put out the fire and ensure everyone’s safety.

Is Your Fire Alarm Connected to the Fire Department?

Not all fire alarms are monitored. Again, the default option is to install a “single-station” fire alarm, which means the system goes off when sensors or pull stations are triggered, but it doesn’t send a signal over a phone line or network to the fire department.

Most residential smoke detectors are single-station units, though home security companies frequently offer monitoring packages. Commercial fire alarms can be single-station units as well, but we recommend connecting them to the fire department for increased safety and peace of mind.

If you’re not sure whether your fire alarm is monitored, the best way to find out is by calling the company that originally installed your system.

Benefits of Connecting Your Fire Alarm to the Fire Department

While codes don’t require all fire alarms to be monitored, your facility could benefit greatly from this investment. Here’s how:

  • 24/7 protection against fire: If a blaze breaks out when you’re in the building, it’s often easy for someone nearby to act, whether by smothering the fire or dousing it quickly with a fire extinguisher. But what if a malfunctioning furnace or spark from a light fixture ignites a blaze in the middle of the night? The alarm is useless then—unless it’s connected to the fire department.
  • Fast emergency response: A monitored fire alarm system notifies critical parties as soon as a pull station is activated, sprinkler head goes off, or a smoke detector identifies smoke. It signals the monitoring station, which notifies both the fire department and your fire protection company. It also sends a message to designated company personnel.
  • Potential insurance discounts: With proof of fire alarm monitoring, you may qualify for lower insurance premiums because the chance of losing valuables in a fire decreases when you have this service.
  • Theft-deterrent: The simple presence of a sign on your property or sticker on your front window tells potential wrong-doers that your building is monitored. Thieves don’t want to be caught, and knowing that your business is directly tied to local law enforcement agencies naturally deters criminal activity.

What Does Fire Alarm Monitoring Entail?

If you’re interested in connecting your fire alarm to the fire department, here are the steps you must take:

  • Install monitoring capabilities: The licensed and experienced technicians at State Systems, Inc. can install a monitoring system into your fire panel. This can be a feature of a new fire alarm or put in independently as a retrofit to an existing system.
  • Set up monitoring service:  Connecting your fire alarm to the fire department requires you to set up a monitoring subscription with monthly payments. When you go through State Systems, you can rest assured that our third-party monitoring station is UL-listed and FM-approved with SIA-certified operators. Expect the best possible service for your subscription.
  • Be aware of automated daily tests: To ensure your alarm system communicates with the monitoring station as expected, a test signal passes between the two once a day. Nothing is required on your part, but if the test signal is disrupted, a technician from your fire protection company will arrive at your business to troubleshoot and repair the problem. This gives you peace of mind, knowing your monitored fire alarm will perform as expected at a moment’s notice.

Hire a Fire Protection Inspection Company in the Mid-South

When you choose State Systems for fire alarm monitoring, we guarantee 24/7 protection for your building. In addition to signaling the fire department to dispatch to your location right away, we promise to send our technicians over within one hour of a fire emergency and within four hours of a non-fire emergency. Once the local authorities have assessed the situation and extinguished the fire, we’ll be by your side to restore your fire protection systems to their proper working condition as quickly as possible.

To learn more about our fire alarm monitoring services, or to schedule an on-site consultation at your Tennessee, Arkansas, or Mississippi business location, please contact us online or call 866-308-5701 today.

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