By Douglas Krantz
It's the owner's fire alarm panel.
The owner has bought and paid for the fire alarm system
. You may be called on to fix the fire alarm system, but before you arrive on site, if it breaks and calls the fire department
, calling the fire department is the owner's problem.
On the other hand, while you're there, if the fire alarm system calls the fire department, it's your problem.
Keep in mind the reason you're there in the first place is that the fire alarm system isn't running right. Often there's more than one problem and you really don't know what it's going to do.
When arriving on site, before touching reset, and if possible, before opening the cabinet, place the fire alarm system
on test with the monitoring company.
I'm not talking about when, on arrival, the fire panel is showing a red-light alarm - - that's a call-the-monitoring-company-first situation. I'm talking about when arriving on site everything appears normal.
With a normal panel, because of a bad smoke detector, pressing the reset button
has activated alarms. Then there's a horror story about a service technician showing fire a alarm system to school custodians, and because of a loose connection in the panel, just opening the cabinet set off the alarm.
The trouble is, with the fire alarm system, you don't know what might be wrong.
Remember, when arriving on site to service a fire alarm panel, you are there because something is wrong and it's your job to fix it.
Until you can certify that the system is fully functioning, an alarm can come from nowhere to mess you up.
Why Do We Inspect Fire Alarm Systems?
-- A long time ago, before regular testing of fire alarm systems was required, the NFPA and other fire protection professionals discovered that large numbers of fire alarm systems just weren't working... at all. Originally, when they were installed, these systems worked properly ... Read More
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