As part of Fire Prevention Month, this week is Fire Prevention Week. So it’s important to highlight technological improvements being developed and offered to keep firefighters and those in a fire safe.
Strides have been taken to help fire alarm systems become fire-fighting systems, doing more than just alerting occupants and the fire department of a fire. Many buildings already have systems to monitor for signs of a potential or existing fire. Connect the system’s sensor to such a new system, such as motion-sensor, and the system could tell firefighters the room is empty, and they do not need to risk injury or waste time to see if rescue is needed.
We previously discussed the advantages of video fire detectors in quickly spotting and locating a fire. That system provides a quick response to any fire and can monitor larger areas than traditional smoke detectors. New AI technology advances allow managers to adjust the sensitivity of “smart” smoke alarms. That has a twofold benefit—it reduces the number of false alarms and shortens the time it takes alarms to detect actual fires.
Building management and fire departments could work with the cloud system to provide valuable information to firefighters on the front line. New standards for public address systems used for voice alarm systems are also on the horizon. The big problem is not so much volume as being understood. Integrating the fire alarm computers into the building’s local-area network (LAN) is gaining momentum. However, it also poses a major problem. To work properly, the fire alarm system must:
- Be secure from hackers by accident or design that would compromise the system’s integrity.
- Be monitored constantly with any problems on the LAN immediately reported to the fire alarm system.
- Have priority over non-fire related traffic on the LAN.
Technology is progressing quickly, providing more and more tools to keep buildings safe from fires. This is very encouraging, but standards for utilizing that technology and practical uses lag behind.
As we have mentioned, fire safety boils down to communicating an evacuation and emergency plan with leadership and employees, and keeping the plan up-to-date.
For assistance with fire safety at your facility, contact Vanguard Resources.