Tips for Saving on Your Commercial Fire Alarm System Cost
Fires and explosions caused almost 500 occupational fatalities between 2016 and 2020. With statistics like that, fire safety should be a priority for your office, factory, or other non-residential property.
Consider a commercial fire alarm system cost sooner rather than later. It’s an essential part of running a successful business.
Think of a fire alarm system as an insurance policy. You’re protecting your future revenue, your equipment, and—most importantly—your staff.
Fire safety isn’t an area you want to be cutting corners in. However, there are still ways you can make a tight budget work in your favor. Do your homework and shop smart, and you’ll get the best system for your spending, all while keeping your accountancy department happy.
Read on to learn how.
When buying fire alarm systems for commercial properties, you must get a lot of equipment. However, even more, important than shopping around is thinking carefully about how to bundle components.
Purchasing a package is much cheaper than buying all the equipment separately—just like taking a vacation on a cruise liner! In most cases, the items are already in stock, and the same technicians can perform the installation simultaneously.
Of course, this means talking with fire safety systems providers that offer a one-stop-shop service specializing in office or other commercial buildings.
Know Your Building’s Layout
Before starting to shop for—and especially before installing—fire alarm systems, you need to be intimately familiar with the layout of your building.
Every stairwell, every under-stair storage closet, every server room, every bathroom… The smallest spaces and the largest need your attention because a fire can start in any area, especially if connected to an electrical circuit.
If you don’t have up-to-date floor plans on file for an existing building, reach out to your local municipal authority to ask for the building’s records. For new buildings, you’ll need to contact the architecture and engineering firms for copies of the plans.
Knowing which parts of a fire safety system need to go where means you’re unlikely to over-provide, saving you money.
Size and Weight
To save money on your fire alarm system, you must focus on getting the most efficient system for your needs.
This means doing your research to determine the smallest possible size (componentry versus the dimensions of your commercial building spaces) and weight (meaning what weight your building walls and ceilings can support) requirements you need your system to meet. Aiming for the most efficient, smallest system possible means less up-front investment.
If you’re considering a portable system, weight is also essential in practicality. Can it be moved or carried by the staff involved in its use?
Consider Future Needs
When determining a fire alarm system budget, you need to consider how your system may need to expand in the future. For example, as a company grows, it might need to move into disused rooms or convert portions of the building to suit new uses.
If this might happen in the near to medium term, consider purchasing a system to fit your current and future needs. This way, you can take advantage of package deals, saving money and reducing future sourcing costs.
Understand All the Options
We’ve said a few times already that it’s essential to do your homework before buying a system. And nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to fire alarm system features.
Before shopping around for a system, you need to:
- Learn about the latest fire alarm technological innovations
- Know which systems are most commonly used in your state or area
- Find out whether sourcing parts is easy for the system (or systems) you’re considering
- Know which features are legally required or compliant for commercial buildings
If you’re knowledgeable about your options, you are far less likely to waste time and money buying the wrong system for your needs.
Tested and Certified
Investing in a tested and certified fire alarm system is a must.
For example, some fire sprinkler systems contain an antifreeze solution instead of water. This is a safeguard against freezing—similar to the antifreeze in a vehicle’s radiator.
As of September 30, 2022, this solution must be UL-certified following the fire standard NFPA 25. And this regulation doesn’t just govern new systems; testing must be done on legacy antifreeze systems to ensure the proper solution.
Any system that doesn’t meet municipal safety requirements will have to be uninstalled and replaced. And it’s pretty clear that process won’t save you any money!
Check Company References
If you want to save money, work with a reputable, expert commercial fire safety service provider. This reduces the chance for costly errors at all stages, from initial inspection to componentry sourcing and installation.
Look for a company:
- With good reviews on places like Google maps and Better Business Bureau
- That’s local—they understand local building and fire safety regulations
- Used and trusted by others in your industry
- With a long history in the fire safety systems business
- Ensures life safety by operating strictly through fire code compliance
Finally, once your system is installed, you can save money in the long term by scheduling regular fire alarm system maintenance from day one.
You know you’ll have maintenance needs for years, so work with the installation company to schedule five or ten years in advance. They’ll likely give you a discount because you’re offering them guaranteed work.
Another cost-saving tip is to get several stores of replacement parts for components known to wear out, like pull stations, fire alarm panel batteries, and smoke detectors.
Getting it Down: Commercial Fire Alarm System Cost
Whether renovating an existing property or outfitting a new building, commercial fire alarm system cost must be top of mind and your budget.
Fire alarm systems reduce unnecessary harm to staff and ensure your investment in equipment, interior decor, and other facility costs aren’t wasted if the worst happens. Also, in many cases, you need the correct systems installed to ensure compliance with state and federal building codes.
Castle Sprinkler and Alarm has been serving commercial property and facility managers in the Washington, DC, area since 1968. Contact our team to discuss your fire safety needs today and get the peace of mind you and your staff deserve.