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Fire Alarm Monitoring FAQs

A Fire Alarm installed today, whether it be a Commercial or Residential building, needs to be monitored. However some of the older installations fall into the older NFPA 72 Code and if there was not a major remodel or improvement, it may not need to be monitored currently. It is best to check with your local Authority Having Jurisdiction or local Fire Department.
It means that systems are actively monitored by a professional fire alarm testing company that gets panels installed and connected to your fire alarm system.  When the fire alarm system goes off, the fire monitoring panel will immediately send a signal to a Signals Receiving Centre (sometimes called a monitoring station). An operator dispatches the appropriate Fire Department to attend the building in alarm.
You know your fire alarm is armed when it automatically detects and senses any signs of fire or smoke and immediately goes off to alarm the residents and responders.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has determined that fire alarm inspections need to be performed at least once a year. 

The Monitoring of a Fire Alarm System or Sprinkler Monitoring System is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by a Monitoring Central Station.

Smoke alarms are a key part of a home and facility fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly and increase fire safety for everyone.
Visual inspections of fire alarm components may be required as frequently as once a week or infrequently as twice a year. Weekly Visual Inspection is needed for control panels and equipment such as the power supplies, fuses, LEDs, and trouble signals.
As well as sticking to six monthly fire alarm testing and inspections, you’re legally required to run weekly fire alarm tests.
A Fire Alarm Test or Inspection may last as little as an hour or as long as multiple days depending on the size and complexity of a system. 

A Smoke Detectors  recommended Life Span in the NFPA 72 Code book is 10 years.

An Annual or Semi annual Fire Alarm Inspection must be done by a Licensed C10 Contractor that knows the NFPA 72 Codebook to ensure that the system is in a proper working condition. This is very important to ensure that if there ever were a Fire, the system works as it is certified to do.
A fire alarm zone plan is a legal requirement on every system of any size and should be noted as a major non-compliance during routine maintenance, when they are not displayed on existing installations.
To develop an effective evacuation plan, employers and residents should follow the 3 stages of evacuation in a fire:

  1. Stage 1: Immediate evacuation
  2. Stage 2: Lateral evacuation
  3. Stage 3: Partial evacuation

The Fire Department may fine you if they find that you are not being inspected and keeping your properties safe and up to date. In addition, if a building is having multiple false alarms, they may fine you if they feel you are not being responsible in the maintenance of your Fire Alarm system. 

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