When your fire alarm system is way past its shelf life, which is 10 years for fire alarms and most other fire products, then you need to consider replacing them as soon as possible. The consequences of having faulty or non-working fire alarms can be devastating. It can lead to extensive damage to property or loss of life when a fire occurs. So if you have fire installations before 2010, this is a good time to evaluate them and check if they need to be replaced.
Newer installations should also be subjected to regular audit to make sure they are working as they should. If you notice nuisance alarms, device troubles, or you’ve been notified of outstanding recalls, then you should consider replacing your fire product before its expiry date.
To Upgrade or To Replace?
The main reason why home owners or building managers need to replace fire alarms before they expire is lack of maintenance. A lot of people put off the regular maintenance and audit of their fire alarm system due to various reasons. Some people believe that it is rude to have the fire alarm installations checked while the unit is occupied while other defer maintenance routines due to lack of funds.
What home and building owners don’t realize is that the longer they put off this task, the higher the cost and danger will be in the long run. This is because instead of resolving the issue sooner, putting off routine maintenance makes the problem bigger and more complicated. Instead of a simple repair, the entire device would have to be replaced instead. And emergency replacements are always more costly than planned replacement.
How to Upgrade or Replace Your Fire Alarm System
The first step in upgrading your fire alarms is to do a complete audit of the whole system. You need a fire protection expert to carry out this task because you don’t want to make mistakes that could prove to be more costly or even fatal.
The audit should include a comprehensive evaluation of the entire fire alarm system, including equipment, initiating devices, notification appliances, and control interfaces.
Once all devices have been upgraded or replaced, the next thing you have to consider is the maintenance schedule. Discuss with the fire expert the best way to maintain your fire alarm system and when it should be audited again.