It was a beautiful day and everything was going your way… until the unthinkable happened. Fire broke out and destroyed your home. It always happens when you least expect it. You may have had such an experience in the past and, heaven forbid, you may have lost more than just your home. What is in the past cannot be changed, but you can change what may happen in the future. This is why it is so important to plan and prepare when it comes to protecting your home or business from fire.
When the time comes to invest in such a system, the available choices can be overwhelming. Where to begin? Here are a few tips that will help you get on your way in making the right choices when it comes to fire protection systems:
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What Do You Want?
You should first consider what you want from your system. Of course protecting lives is the most basic and important purpose. There are however additional available functions such as fire suppression, auto-diallers that automatically notify the fire brigade via the telephone and notification of owners via electronic means such as email, text messages or mobile phone apps. A more accurate question than “what do you want?” would probably be “how much are you willing to pay?” These additional functionalities will of course cost you more. Choose wisely based on your budget and needs.
What Types of Functionalities Do You Require?
Once you know that life protection has been achieved, you can go on to see more specifically how you would like to protect the physical premises of your home or business. Questions you have to answer include: Do you want an active fire suppression system such as sprinklers or a gaseous clean agent? Will you include passive fire protection such as fire doors, the use of fire resistant building materials and fabrics? Will you incorporate fire detectors as well as smoke detectors? How will you be informed of the fire beyond the sound of the alarm itself? Is your premises large enough to incorporate fire zones that will react independently and differently depending on what is detected?
Don’t Cut Corners
Don’t cut corners. Commercial property and public spaces are subject to strict legislation on the fire prevention systems that must be installed, including fire alarm and suppression systems connected by fire resistant cable to ensure these systems continue to work for a guaranteed length of time even when subjected to fire. Your home, however, is a different matter where even smoke detectors aren’t mandatory. It’s about being prepared: develop an evacuation plan to identify the quickest and safest way of escaping the building, wire detectors into the mains rather than rely on batteries, consider placing fire extinguishers at critical points around the home, and look carefully at the other systems available on the market that can help protect your property and your life.
Lots of people think about installing a fire protection system of some sort but find it hard to get around to actually doing it. Too often the outbreak of a fire becomes the incentive to install such a system. It’s up to each of us to take the proper steps and make the appropriate decisions to protect our homes, families, businesses and employees from fire before it happens, rather than because it has happened.