Fire alarm systems are required by law in almost every commercial and industrial place of business. There are few exceptions to this rule. Deciding which type of fire alarm system and suppression system is rarely left up to the business owner or property owner. Specific alarm systems and monitoring panels will be determined by the local authorities.
Even though building codes and fire codes will dictate the type of system needing to be installed, these requirements are strictly the bare minimum that the local jurisdictions and state government mandate. Frequently the bare minimum will still result in vast amounts of property damage. For this reason it is always important to inquire of the fire alarm installation company how best to improve on the fire codes with regards to the installed fire suppression system.
If the building or facility is being erected, going the extra mile by installing additional fire prevention measures will lower the chances of extensive property loss when a fire does occur. For proper installation of a new fire alarm and suppression system or improving a current fire control system, contracting with a professional and competent installation company will need to be arranged. With new construction, this is taken care of by the general contractor overseeing the entire construction project. If the building is already established and occupied, then any improvements to the fire alarm system will most likely be set into motion by the property owner or property manager.
Fortunately fire codes do not change drastically or frequently, but if the codes do change, occasionally those structures currently established may not need to upgrade the current fire suppression system due to being grandfathered. One exception to this rule may be when the property is sold.
Local or state law may dictate that in order to complete the real estate transaction the existing fire suppression system, including the control panel, may need to be updated. Should this be the case, the cost can be surprising. The expense of upgrading or modernizing the fire control components will need to be taken into account along with the details of the real estate transaction. Many real estate agencies and service will not always be aware of specifics of this type.
It is recommended that the sale of the commercial property be contingent upon a fire inspection. Many professional and experienced fire alarm installation firms can be utilized in this manner. Without a satisfactory inspection, the new property owner may be fined and ordered to improve or bring the current suppression system up to date which can easily reach into the thousands.