In the Electronic Security Association’s (ESA) newest issue of Newsline, their quarterly publication, fire compliance issues are addressed by Mark Matlock of United Central Control. While his guest column does not specifically address inadvertent fire alarms, his points reinforce why security companies need to use quality equipment and install systems responsible.
SIAC works to help reduce those unnecessary fire and burglar alarms. Though we focus more intensely on burglar alarms, we’ve been outspoken on the need for responsible fire alarm operation as well. The problems from excessive alarms, regardless of whether they are fire or burglar, are similar: Local public officials become stressed after a certain point, and the issue of no longer responding to calls for dispatch of police cars or the fire department becomes all too real.
Even though some major changes are needed to NFPA 72, there are significant steps that companies in the electronic security industry can take to cut down on fire alarms. And they differ from the burglar alarms side, where Enhanced Call Verification has proven so popular. Instead, we need to speak out, as Mark has done in his column, on the need for quality fire alarm installations.
This means always installing systems that meet codes. This means local jurisdictions need to inspect to ensure compliance. It means our industry should service systems per code to ensure optimum performance. Ultimately, all of these steps will help reduce false fire dispatches.
This won’t create a perfect system, but it will make a positive difference. Check out Mark’s column in Newsline, Volume 3 2011, Page 26.