Month: September 2015

6 Ways to Save Your Safety Budget

Budgeting for your safety systems is supposed to be easy. What about those off years where everything seems to go wrong? Here are 6 tips to keep you in budget, even during the worst year.

1. Plan Everything in Advance
Do you have inspections coming up? Is your sprinkler system starting to get old? Mark those dates down and get them scheduled. Keeping up with routine maintenance will help prevent surprise breakdowns.

2. Know Your Systems
What systems do you have? When were they installed? Who installed them? What model number is it? How they work together? Where are their controls located? Offering accurate information at the time of your call will cut labor costs and fix your system faster.

3. Keep Detailed Records
The more information you have off the bat, the more money you’ll save off of your service visit. Neither you, nor the service tech will waste time trying to figure out the necessary details. Use a calendar to keep track of your required service due dates. Spreadsheets are a great choice to record when service is completed.

4. Have Potential Replacement Parts Nearby
Your parts might not give out soon, but nothing will last forever. Paying the price years ahead means paying nothing when the time comes to use your purchase. Have spare replacement parts handy, on location. You’ll avoid expedited shipping fees, waiting for your part to arrive, extra trip charges, more labor costs, long fire watches and more.

5. Have a Good Support System
Phone support is a must for safety systems. You’ll cut your labor costs big time if you can troubleshoot the basics. Any reputable company will make phone support available to you. Find a good, dependable, qualified company that can handle all of your life safety systems.

6. Systems Parts Warranties Work
Safety Systems warranties are very beneficial. You have a good probability you will need the agreement later. The electronics in these life safety systems are complex and expensive. It’s a lot less painful to replace a $2000 part if it’s covered by warranty.

There you have it! Always do your required maintenance and inspections. If your system fails after that, simply being familiar with your system and knowing who to call will save you.

A1 is a leading expert on the latest technology in life safety. To find out more information or to ask a question, click here or call us at 1-800-859-6198.

Joseph Reynolds
Joseph Reynolds

A Quick Guide to Fire Sprinkler Systems in the Home

Home Fire Statistics

Residential fires kill 3000 people annually. Children and the elderly hold the greatest risk of death simply because they are less mobile. The average fire department response time for a residential fire is 7-12 minutes, but a fire can become deadly in as little as 3 minutes.

Hands down, the best way to protect a home is to install a fire sprinkler system. No other technology offers as much protection as fire sprinklers. 90% of fires are extinguished using only one sprinkler, and each sprinkler uses only a fraction of water compared to your hose.

How Does a Fire Sprinkler Work?

Contrary to popular belief, smoke will not trigger a sprinkler. Only the extreme heat of a flame will set off a sprinkler. A standard sprinkler head has a liquid-filled glass plug to hold the water back. The liquid in the plug expands in heat, breaking the glass to release the plug. With the plug gone, water freely flows out over the deflector plate and sprinkles over the fire. Water flow will continue until the main valve is shut off.

Fire Sprinkler Diagram

Quick Sprinkler Facts

  • Operates off the household water main
  • Each sprinkler can protect a 12 x 12 area or more
  • In a fire, only the sprinklers closest to the flames will activate
  • Most manufacturers offer concealed sprinklers that will not affect the appearance of your home

Cost Concerns for Fire Sprinklers in the Home

Home fire sprinklers are not as expensive as you may think. Homeowners benefit because fire sprinklers increase their property value. Insurance rates may decrease. Financial losses from a fire may decrease by 90%.

Builders have found a way to reduce construction costs with sprinklers using trade-ups. The average cost to sprinkler a home in 2013 was $1.35 per square foot.

Why You Should Consider a Home Sprinkler System

Just in case low cost and safety aren’t on the top of your priorities list, the law may mandate home fire sprinkler systems. In New York, legislation has passed requiring some homes to have a home fire sprinkler system. A similar law  is being discussed in California and other states. How long until your state passes the same law?

Get Answers

For more information, visit NFPA online or the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition. Click here or call 1-800-859-6198 to contact an expert.

Greg Lane