It’s essential to ensure the protection of your property against fires and other accidents. Thus, choosing the top fire protection company is extremely important.
Full-service fire protection companies provide the design, installation, repair, maintenance, and inspection of fire protection and safety systems.
Let us take a closer look at what to look for in a fire protection company in today’s post.
Fire Protection: Passive and Active
Fire protection systems are classified into two categories: passive and active.
Passive Fire Protection
This effort involves utilizing the physical components of a structure to control or kill a fire.
The strategic design and construction of ceilings, floors, hallways, and walls contribute to effective fire and smoke control.
For instance, walls built with a one or two-hour fire-resistance score can act as a barrier to repel the passage of fire and smoke for that specified amount of time.
The barriers will have been designed and built to offer compartmentation. The walls divide the structure into zones to resist the spread of common fires.
However, remember that compartmentation is not effective if the ceilings, floors, or walls do not have an unprotected entry for the fire and smoke to spread.
Building and property managers must make sure that penetrations or infiltrations through fire barriers are at a minimum.
If penetration is needed, building property managers, it must follow fire safety and protection code. Following the code ensures the barriers maintain their fire rating.
Typically, the installation of data cables, telephone lines, and plumbing systems reduces the fire rating barriers – and altogether useless. This is especially true if the installation of these components go through the obstacles.
What Is a Fire Protection System?
Before discussing the important role of fire protection provider, let’s first talk about fire protection systems.
Aside from the financial safety, a good fire protection plan makes sure that your employees, tenants, and guests are safe. An exceedingly vital component of a safety plan is the fire protection system. This includes smoke detectors, fire alarms, fire sprinklers, emergency lighting, exit signs, and other fire protection and safety equipment.
All the devices work in tandem to protect a property against fires. An experienced and professional fire protection specialist knows how to integrate these systems to maximize their effect correctly.
Older multiple-story buildings mostly relied on and utilized compartmentations as their main fire protection measure.
However, advancements in fire protection were used to meet the space and lifestyle requirements of commercial structures.
Active Fire Protection
Active fire protection entails components that requires direct physical actions to minimize the growth and spread of smoke.
The critical components of active fire protection are:
- Smoke control systems
- Smoke detectors
- Fire suppression systems
- Fire sprinkler systems
- And more
These items will only perform their calculated function after receiving manual and automatic commands.
A licensed and certified fire protection company provides the planning and installation of these active fire protection items in a property, whether residential, commercial, or industrial.
Fire alarm systems are classified under active fire protection.
The fire alarm system’s primary function is detecting heat or smoke, which lets it identify the occurrence of fire.
Fire alarm systems are then activated to turn extinguishing systems on. They can also function to alert the building occupants of a fire emergency or notify the fire department.
Fire sprinklers systems and other fire extinguishing devices are made to control or extinguish the fire – as the names imply.
Smoke control devices are engineered to minimize the spread and distribution of smoke. This function also maintains egress routes accessible and passable for a time.
When the fire alarm is activated – whether manually or automatically – warns the building occupants of the emergency. It also sends a notification to the local fire department and other first responders.
Finding a Reputable Fire Protection Company
What sets a fire protection company apart?
A professional fire protection provider invests resources into their organization. This is to ensure that they are giving top-quality products and services. Their primary goal is to provide the h highest level of consistency and reliability to their offerings.
Unfortunately, there are dishonest and deceitful fire protection companies out there. They do not have high standards and are only after making a sale. This consequently compromises your own fire protection efforts.
Thus, it’s incredibly important to employ the services of a reputable fire protection company.
Here are some important conditions and qualifications you need to look for:
- An authorized and certified distributor of quality fire protection product lines
- Fire protection technicians with National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) certifications
- State-required certifications and licensure for handling specialized fire protection equipment
- Manufacturer-specific authorizations and credentials for the installation of the systems and accessing programming software
- Availability of 24-hour emergency services and monitoring
- Fully stocked and organized warehouse
- In-house design and planning of fire protection systems
- Line of well-maintained transportation
- Well-trained, professional, and prompt technicians
When it comes to fire protection, prevention, and overall safety, the experience is vital. Professional and educational expertise is the results of years of working in the field.
On top of that, experienced fire protection specialists know what costly errors and common mistakes to avoid. That is an invaluable factor you simply can’t put a price on.
Pay Attention to Customer Feedback
While experience is indeed important, you can’t immediately assume that a fire protection company is the right fit for you.
Ask for a list of previous clients. Honest and reputable contractors won’t hesitate to provide you with a reference list.
As much as possible, ask for references from the same industry as you.
For instance, if you are a restaurant or catering business owner, you need a fire protection system that is suitable for your commercial kitchen operations.
Pay attention to the reviews. Not because they are positive or negative doesn’t mean they are gospel truth. It’s easy to read these client feedbacks and assume something. However, some of them can be misleading.
Try to reach out to these previous clients – whether via phone or email – and ask the following questions. You can definitely ask more questions that are important to you. However, here are some to help start a conversation:
- Were the fire protection contractors easy to work with?
- Were they prompt/on time?
- Was there an issue that arose during the project? How did they handle it?
Customer Service Is Crucial
In the fire protection and prevention business, you want to hire a company with a good response time. Response times are especially crucial in this industry.
Find out if the fire protection company you want to hire have enough technicians to service their clients. It would be horrific if you need their services during an emergency and they can’t respond to your call right away.