Fire Alarm Inspection Guide

Have you ever been in a situation where you experienced a false fire alarm or missed an alarm during a critical moment?

Hopefully not, as it can be quite distressing. However, neglecting regular fire alarm inspections can increase the likelihood of such incidents. Fortunately, these inspections are not very expensive. So, how much does a fire alarm inspection cost? The cost of an annual fire alarm inspection can range from $300 or more. The total cost depends on various factors such as the number of devices to be tested, the complexity of the system, and the facility itself. This is just a glimpse of the topic. To delve deeper into the details of fire alarm inspection costs, let’s begin our discussion.

Fire Alarm

Cost of Fire Alarm Inspection

Annual fire alarm inspections are typically conducted by licensed technicians and may cost around $3-400 or more. Monthly fire inspections can range from $50 to $100. However, the cost is not fixed and varies based on several factors. For instance, the size of the safety system and the types of devices used impact the inspection cost.

Device Count:

The cost of inspection greatly depends on the number of devices in your fire alarm system. A smaller system requires basic and inexpensive testing. However, a system with 50 or more devices, including audio visuals, alarm pull stations, smoke detectors, duct detectors, and heat detectors, can cost between $500 and $1,000. Larger facilities like apartments or factories that have 500 or more devices may cost around $7,000 to $8,000 for inspection. Additionally, any missing or broken devices can increase the cost by an average of 10-15%.

Device Type:

Certain devices significantly raise the cost of inspection. For example, water flow switches, tamper switches, duct detectors, smoke detector sensitivity, air and gas detectors, and elevators with fire alarm facilities require additional time and specialized testing. These devices can increase the overall cost of inspection by up to 20%.

Facility & Accessibility of Device:

The type of facility and the accessibility of fire alarm devices can affect the inspection cost. Complex settings and new updates in fire rules or renovations may require more time for inspection, potentially leading to increased labor costs. The positioning of devices also plays a role. For instance, if a smoke detector is installed at a high location, a scissor lift may be required, costing around $600 for a day’s rental. It is important to consider these factors when planning the installation of fire alarm devices.

While we have highlighted three major criteria, there are several other factors that can impact the overall inspection process and cost. Without knowledge of your specific fire alarm system, it is difficult to estimate the exact inspection cost. Therefore, it is recommended to gather information about the devices in your system, understand the facility and its intricacies, and then make an informed estimate of the inspection cost.

How Long Does a Fire Alarm Inspection Take?

The duration of a fire alarm inspection typically ranges from 1 hour to a couple of days, depending on the complexity of the system. Large facilities with a higher number of devices generally require more time for inspection. Technicians will be able to provide an estimated timeframe after assessing the system. While it may be inconvenient at times, timely and thorough inspections are necessary to ensure the safety and functionality of the fire alarm system. Avoiding or rushing through inspections should be avoided.

Why Inspect Fire Alarm Systems?

Fire alarm inspections are crucial for several reasons:

Factors Affection Cost:

The cost of alarm inspection is influenced by various factors, including the number and type of devices in the system. Larger systems with a greater device count generally require more extensive testing, resulting in higher costs. Certain devices, like water flow switches and tamper switches in sprinkler systems, can increase overall costs by up to 20%, while others such as smoke detectors, duct detectors, sensitivity devices, air and gas detectors, and fire alarm-equipped elevators demand extra inspection time and expenses.The type of facility housing the fire alarm devices also plays a role in determining the inspection cost. Complex settings or recent renovations may extend inspection time, increasing labor costs.

Importance of Fire Alarm Inspection:

Regular fire alarm inspections are essential for several reasons. Firstly, they ensure the safety of lives and properties. A properly functioning fire alarm system can save lives during emergencies and minimize damage. Neglecting inspections increases the risk of system failure during critical situations. Secondly, fire alarm inspections help maintain code compliance as mandated by organizations like the NFPA. Compliance with fire alarm inspection requirements is necessary to avoid fines or penalties. The inspection reports are also crucial for securing insurance coverage and demonstrating the safety measures in place. Additionally, inspections prevent false alarm signals that can disrupt business operations and cause unnecessary chaos. By keeping the fire alarm system and its components in check, the occurrence of false alarms can be minimized.

Consequences of Failed Fire Alarm Inspection:

Failure to comply with fire alarm inspection requirements can result in violation of fire codes. When an inspection fails, it can halt work schedules within the establishment. Common reasons for failed inspections include exposed wiring, missing or hidden suite numbers, misuse of extension cords, clogged fire hydrants, expired extinguishers, and blocked fire exits. In case of failure, we promptly address and fix the root cause, replace failed devices, and conduct follow-up inspections for compliance. Significant system-wide failures demand immediate action.Customers typically have a minimal time to rectify the problem, after which the local fire department may step in to enforce the issue.

Kirk Booher, Onguard.

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