Fire alarms can protect your property from any damage by fire by triggering alarms to alert the occupants of a building. Timely intervention can definitely save lives and can also reduce damage to property. But what will happen if there is no one in the building or around it to hear the alarm?
In such cases, alarm sounds will not be able to alert any one on time and a lot of damage can be caused to property. If you have elders who take medication that involves sedition or any of your family members’ hearing is impaired, they will be at risk as they will not be able to hear the alarm. Monitoring services can prevent such situations.
Fire Alarm System Monitoring Services
These are professional centres that monitor your alarms for you. These monitoring services are provided by alarm companies through their own call centres or by special security agencies that monitor security alarms as well as fire alarms. Small companies and agencies outsource this to individual call centres set up for monitoring services only. Whatever be the case, a 24*7 monitoring service is provided throughout the year.
The alarm when triggered send a signal to these monitoring agencies and they contact the fire departments and police stations within thirty to sixty seconds. Thus, the action taken by these services in your absence will be much faster than any action taken by your neighbours who can only notice the fire once it has spread significantly.
The connection to the monitoring agencies can be made through traditional phone lines, cellular phones or radio frequencies. Traditional phones are not very reliable as the phone set or its wiring can get damaged in fire. Cellular phones are better but they involve more cost as compared to the radio frequency method. You can also opt for a combination of two services to be on the safe side.
While selecting a monitoring agency, it is useful to look at their resources. They must employ trained staff who can understand the nature of emergency. Also the monitoring station should have adequate back up like a stand-by station or generator back up to take care of power shortages. This will ensure that you get their services at all times.
Monitoring Your Own Fire Alarm
Other than the monitoring service, it is important that you keep a check on your alarm. Regular maintenance is essential to keep the system running. Dust and smoke particles can block the detectors in an alarm and will come in way of effective sensing of fire in emergencies. Hence, you must clean your alarms with gentle vacuum.
Test buttons are provided to regularly check the alarm. You can check whether the batteries are functioning by pressing the test button and this will enable you to replace batteries at the right time. In any case, a battery must be replaced at least once in a year and an alarm should be replaced every ten years.