What Makes a Great Fire Alarm System?


Want to make sure that your building or your home in California is protected from fires? You have to make sure you have a great fire alarm system. Fire alarm systems are your first line of defense against fires since they will warn people to get out of the building, alert responders to the location, and show exactly where the fire is coming from. 

But what exactly makes for a great system? What properties does a great one have to ensure fire protection for properties and lives?

Read our list below for some things you should look for before having a fire alarm installed.

The system meets compliance standards.

In case you didn’t know, the fire alarm system you’re going to get should meet California fire safety codes. These safety codes vary per state, so what would be valid, say, in Washington, is not necessarily valid in California. You have to find out what the codes are here. Just check out the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes. It covers the application, installation, location, maintenance, and so on of fire alarm systems.

Of course, you’ll also have to make sure the alarm you plan to install will meet local rules, building codes, and insurance company requirements. Even if for example you get to install the most state-of-the-art alarm system, if it doesn’t meet compliance standards, you might end up paying a hefty fine. Plus, you’ll probably have to purchase a whole new fire alarm system all over again. 

That’s not exactly money you can easily spend, right?

It can detect both heat and smoke.

No two fires are the same. Some are slow-burning fires, while some flare up at once. And because of that, some have heat that is not easily detected immediately. On the other hand, some give off heat that can be felt at once. Where are we going with this?

Basically, you have to make sure that your alarm system can detect whether it’s a hot fire or it’s just smoke that’s going to become fire. Imagine if the system you got can only detect either heat only or smoke only. That means you’re not prepared for the other occurrence, and that might prove costly, or even fatal.

Some alarms don’t only detect both heat and smoke, but also even the levels of carbon monoxide. In fact, the more that the alarms can detect in terms of fires, the better!

It’s automated (but can also be activated manually).

This is probably one of the most important features of a fire alarm system – the automation. If a system is automatic, it will trigger upon detection of any fire. And the great thing about it is that no one needs to be monitoring the system itself the whole time.

Of course, with any technology, there’s always a failure rate. So let’s say someone is walking outside your building and sees a fire through the windows. That might mean your fire alarm system failed, especially if no one is leaving your building. So if that passerby can manually trigger the alarm, that would be very ideal. If you remember seeing levers or buttons with “In case of fire” labels, those are the triggers. It’s best if your fire alarm system has those.


It is accurate and has little to no false alarms.

When it comes to fire alarms, can you think of anything worse than an alarm that goes off but there’s actually no fire?

We can’t either.

Not only will it be a hassle for people to get out of the building, but the fire department will also be informed. And we don’t think they’ll be very happy to arrive and see no fires. It’s a waste of tax money and that also means they won’t be around to stop real, actual fires if any occur while they’re wasting time in your area.

Plus, if this occurrence keeps happening, people in the area might get trained to ignore the alarm. And that’s not a good thing, because what would happen if there’s a real fire and everyone ignores the alarms?

Nothing good, that’s for sure! It’s best to look for alarms that can accurately detect fires.

When triggered, the alarms are loud.

If an alarm is triggered and there is no sound, and nobody gets warned of the fire, did it actually work?

Well, obviously not.

Remember, we talked about this before, why fire alarms are loud. To summarize, they really have to be loud to warn people that there’s a fire ongoing. Otherwise, there’s no point in having a fire alarm system in the first place.

And speaking of sounds, better make sure that the sound you have on actually sounds like an emergency sound or something of an urgent warning. Sure, you can get a unique sound that will let you and your staff know that there’s a fire, but what about the rest of the people in the building? If for example, you’re playing elevator music instead of the usual alarm sounds, would people understand that there’s an emergency?

Probably not. 

It’s flexible and easy to modify.

Is your alarm system rigid? If improvements and modifications need to be made, can they be made easily? After all, as technology improves and evolves, better alarms might come out. Plus, you never know now, but building codes could change. What if your current alarm system can’t meet the new codes? 

Those are some questions that need to be answered, especially if your system is deemed to no longer be enough for fire protection.

It is easy to maintain and lasts for a long time.

Fire alarms aren’t cheap, right? Well, there are probably cheap ones, but we don’t recommend those. You might end up shelling out more money all the time, since they may have the tendency to break down easily. Or worse, you might have to replace the system every few years instead of just conducting regular maintenance. 

Better get one that might be a little more expensive, but will last a long time. Not only will you be protected better, you’ll also save more money in the long run.

Get a great fire alarm system from Bay Area fire inspection experts.

Now that you know what you should look for in a fire alarm system, you may be wondering what the next step is.

It’s actually easy. It’s getting the services of a California fire inspection company.


Even if you know what you should look for when it comes to a fire alarm system, you might get confused with all the options in the market. Experts like us at Fire Alarm Inspection Inc. can help you narrow down your choices and make recommendations about what kind of fire alarm system you should get for your property.

And of course, we’re not limited to just recommendations. Our services include fire alarm monitoring, fire inspection in Bay Area, and even fire alarm system maintenance and replacement. If you need help with anything involving fire alarms, we’re the people you should call.

Contact us today and let’s get started on getting you the best fire alarm system and fire protection possible.