Homeowner Considerations When Choosing A Fire Alarm System: Insight From A Trusted Electrician | Myrtle Beach, SC
The stats are alarming! Between 2015 to 2019, approximately 26 percent of reported fires occurred in U.S. households. Home fires lead to massive property destruction and even loss of lives. Although fires are unpredictable, preventive measures such as installing fire alarm systems can alert you in case of fire and take action before it spreads.
When selecting a fire alarm system, you need to find the right device for your home. But choosing a fire alarm can be complex; thus, it’s important to work with an experienced electrician to help you assess your needs and purchase the right system. Here are some factors that can help you select the right fire alarm system for your Myrtle Beach, SC home.
There are various types of fire alarms in the market today with different prices, and you’ll always find the one that suits your budget. For example, if you are on a limited budget and want an affordable yet effective fire alarm, go for the conventional fire alarms, which are less costly.
However, conventional alarms are expensive to install because the electrician will need more wiring to connect to each device. On the other hand, addressable fire alarms only require one wire as they only use one circuit and provide a wide range of additional features. Thus, they have low installation costs, but their initial purchase price is high.
Is the fire alarm for home or commercial purposes? Fire alarm systems for home purposes are installed in places where it is easier to spot fire. However, commercial ones have more than just a fire detection system.
In a commercial building, many things can trigger fire, such as chemicals, flammable agents, and electricity. Combining the fire alarm and suppression systems is wise in a commercial building. This will alert you of the fire and extinguish it simultaneously.
Ease of installation is one thing you should remember when choosing a fire alarm system. For instance, if you are looking for a fire alarm system that is easy to install, go for the battery-powered one.
With a battery alarm, you can easily change the battery anytime you want to without any issues, unlike the hard-wired ones that need an experienced electrician to install.
The Type of the Fire Alarm
There are various types of fire alarms in the market today. The most prevalent ones are the conventional, addressable, automatic, manual, and hybrid systems.
Conventional fire alarms are inexpensive and used in small buildings. In these alarms, the detectors in the circuit cannot be distinguished from one another. They cannot be programmed and are less reliable than addressable fire alarm systems.
In contrast, addressable fire alarm systems are sophisticated and work well in large buildings; each of its detectors has a unique binary address, enabling you to monitor the devices and those that are not working efficiently. Despite being very reliable, they tend to be very expensive.
Another significant consideration you must put in place is the weather in your area. Some fire alarms work better in certain weather conditions than in others.
For instance, if you live in a place with hot temperatures, you should not opt for fire alarms that use heat detectors to avoid false alarms.
The System’s Capacity
Choosing a fire alarm panel with enough capacity is essential. Each fire alarm system has a fixed capacity; electricians can only use specific devices for every zone it supports.
Besides, choosing a fire alarm system panel with enough capacity gives space for expansion installation by an electrician.
The Size and Layout of Your Home
When looking for a fire alarm, you want an alarm that covers your entire Myrtle Beach, SC home. Therefore, the size and layout are major factors to consider. If you are looking for fire alarms for a big space, you must consider going for more sophisticated options like the addressed fire alarms, which are programmed according to the environment.
However, a conventional fire alarm would serve you perfectly if you are looking for one for a small space, such as a building with fewer rooms. These fire alarms have detectors that you can activate automatically or even manually.
False Alarm Protection
At least 98 percent of automatic fire alarms in homes are false. When choosing a fire alarm for your home, it is wise to go for one that allows you to put heat detectors in areas that may be easily triggered, thereby avoiding false alarms. Fortunately, modern fire alarms have an alarm verification alarm that only raises the alarm showing fire.
Frequency of Testing and Servicing
Fire alarm systems need to be serviced like any other device to operate effectively. For instance, an electrician must service the conventional fire alarms every year. On the other hand, a professional electrician must check addressable fire alarm systems every six months for any defects.
Combined Sounder and Detector
You can save on cable and installation by choosing the addressable and the two-wire fire alarm systems. These two fire alarm systems allow the electrician to connect the counters on the same cable, unlike the conventional fire alarm systems, where each detector is connected to a separate parallel circuit to the control panel.
Check the Codes and Regulations
Fire alarms must comply with specific standards and regulations. The National Fire Protection Association has set down regulations that manufacturers should follow. It has guidelines that detail the recommended fire alarm systems suitable for various buildings.
Also, the organization regulates the auditory and volume requirements to ensure that the alarm system doesn’t affect the tenants of the building and the surrounding areas.
Homeowners should check for the NFPA manual when purchasing fire alarm systems to ensure they choose a fire alarm system that complies with the regulations.
Protect Your Home from the Fire Today!
Are you a Myrtle Beach, SC resident and would like to install a fire alarm system in your home? Contact us at Mister Sparky of Myrtle Beach. We install a wide range of residential and commercial fire alarm systems.
Our experienced and licensed electricians also offer lighting, outlet, repairs, recessed lighting, and fan services. At Mister Sparky of Myrtle Beach, we are available 24 hours a day.