Many different hazards may strike a building, many of them based on the local geography or climate of the region. Buildings located near a fault line, such as California’s San Andreas fault line, may be rattled by earthquakes, and buildings along the east coast may be in the path of seasonal hurricanes. Buildings in the Midwest may face tornadoes and their wind-blown debris, and buildings in lower areas may be prone to flash floods. But no matter the local weather or fault lines, nearly any American building today may face the threat of fire, and fire is well known for being highly destructive to property and lives alike. The Great London Fire and the Great Chicago Fire may come to mind as historic examples. While city-wide fires aren’t an imminent threat today, a building may still suffer flames and smoke due to accidents or arson. This is why fire protection such as fire alarm systems are installed, and building owners may contact fire alarm repair services or have fire alarm inspections carried out. What is thee to know about the threat of fire and fire alarm repair?
The Threat of Fire
Many statistics are being kept about the frequency of fires and how much damage they can do to lives, property, and buildings. Four particular types of buildings are known for often facing the threat of fire, those being apartments, hotels, offices, and any facilities that care for the sick, such as hospitals. Every year, the numbers show, hotel and motel fires result in some $76 million in property losses, and hotel and motel fires claim 15 lives per year and injure another 150 people. Often, someone in a burning building is injured or killed not from burns or the heat, but from inhaling smoke or a lack of oxygen in the air. Warehouses are also known to catch fire, and naturally there may be a staggering amount of property loss when a warehouse catches flames. The good news here is that warehouse fires are becoming more rare; back in 1980, nearly 4,700 such fires took place, but by 2011, only 1,200 occurred. Of course, any warehouse fire is a bad thing, but a downward trend is encouraging.
Why else might a fire happen? In the past, many fires were started due to lit cigarettes or cigars inside buildings, when tobacco was often used indoors. Office buildings, hotels and apartments, and more often had smokers in them, and dropped cigarettes could easily set the carpet, drapes, or papers on fire. This would be especially dangerous when the smoker fell asleep and therefore wasn’t awake to put the fire out right away. For this reason and more, tobacco use is forbidden in most buildings.
Instead, fires today are often started when a damaged electrical cord touches a flammable item with its exposed, hot inner wire, such as a stack of paper at the office or a set of drapes or even a pile of clothing. Hospital fires are often started when an electrical device malfunctions and spits sparks that land on bed sheets or drapes. Another threat of fire is arson, when a criminal intentionally sets property on fire. Protection against arson may include not only fire alarms, but also security guards, fences, and cameras to discourage crime.
The Work of Fire Alarms
A building manager may sometimes call in professionals to inspect all fire alarms found in their building to ensure that they are working properly. A case of malfunctioning alarms calls for fire alarm repair, and until fire alarm repair is done, a building might not meet fire safety standard at all. Specialized contractors may be hired to fix faulty fire alarms, replace them entirely, or install new ones. This may also be done when an entrepreneur buys and moves into an old building.
These alarms are wall-mounted and have wires that connect them to nearby fire stations, alerting firefighting crews automatically when a fire starts. Meanwhile, in the building, the alarms will give off a loud, distinctive sound to warn all occupants of the fire. Such alarms should be numerous enough, and spaced correctly, so that a person can hear them from any part of the building. Such alarms typically have bright, flashing lights for the benefit of the deaf.