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Posted on March 21, 2011

Fire Alarm System FAQs

Fire alarm systems are among the most basic, and most important, fire protection systems you can have in your home or office. While everyone has a general understanding what fire alarm systems are for and what they do, many people don’t know much more than that. At Kauffman Co, we believe that the best way to keep yourself safe from fires is to have a strong understanding about your fire protection systems. With that in mind, we’re here to answer some frequently asked questions that we get about Houston fire alarm systems!

How long should a fire alarm system last?

If you keep on top of all the required fire alarm system maintenance, your fire alarm system should last about 8 – 10 years.

How often do I need fire alarm system inspection and testing?

The national fire code requires that you schedule fire alarm system inspection and testing annually.

What’s the difference between a conventional fire alarm system and an addressable fire alarm system?

Usually, a conventional fire alarm system is less expensive and is used in smaller buildings. The biggest limitation to conventional fire alarm systems is that they can’t tell you specifically which alarm is going off – they can only tell you if a particular zone is under alarm. Of course, if your building is small, that information may be all you need.

Addressable fire alarm systems, on the other hand, are hooked up to an annunciator panel that can show you which specific devices are going off at any given time. This type of fire alarm system can be more expensive than a conventional fire alarm system, but the highly specific information it provides can be extremely valuable if you own a large-scale business or operate in a large facility. Better yet, if you are installing the fire alarm system on a campus or within a large facility you can network the annunciator panels together, so you can visually see the status of the entire fire alarm system.

Do I need a fire alarm system if I have a fire sprinkler system installed?

Yes. Fire sprinkler systems are highly effective fire protection systems once a fire has already started. Fire alarm systems, particularly smoke detectors, can detect smoke and other gases before the flames start, giving you extra time to escape the building.  They can also automatically alert the fire department, saving you valuable seconds that could otherwise have cost you your building.

What is UL 864 and how does it affect my existing fire alarm system?

UL 864 is the Standard for Control Units and Accessories for Fire Alarm Systems. The standard is updated frequently (the last update went into effect on December 31, 2008). All fire alarm systems are required to comply with UL standards, so if you installed your fire alarm system prior to December 31, 2008, you should have a fire protection services company inspect your fire alarm system to make sure it is up to code.

The more you know about your fire alarm system, the better you will understand how it keeps you protected. If you own a building in Houston, Texas and need fire alarm maintenance, inspection or testing services, call the experts at Kauffman Co today!

We provide estimates for new and replacement fire protection systems throughout Texas (TX) in:

  • Alvin
  • Angleton
  • Austin
  • Baytown
  • Beaumont
  • Bellaire
  • Clute
  • Conroe
  • Deer Park
  • Dickinson
  • Freeport
  • Friendswood
  • Galena Park
  • Galveston
  • Houston
  • Humble
  • Huntsville
  • Jacinto City
  • Katy
  • La Marque
  • La Porte
  • Lake Charles, LA
  • Lake Jackson
  • League City
  • Missouri City
  • Orange
  • Pasadena
  • Pearland
  • Port Arthur
  • Richmond
  • Rosenberg
  • San Antonio
  • Schulenburg
  • South Houston
  • Stafford
  • Sugar Land
  • Texas City
  • The Woodlands
  • Victoria
  • Waco
For more information, contact us online or call us now at (713) 893-1090.
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