Life safety systems are vital and are inextricably linked with our daily lives and in all places, be it the house, office, auditoriums, closed spaces, and shopping malls.
These systems are designed and installed to ensure people’s safety because they guard against fires and poisonous gases like carbon monoxide and methane, both of which are serious threats to human life.
Principles of installing life safety systems
Life safety systems are generally customized to a facility’s specific needs while also addressing potential risks that are likely to arise in day to day operations. The manufacturer usually collaborates with a client to choose the best technology that provides the maximum life/fire protection for his environment.
It is also the vendor’s responsibility to test and service any equipment that he installs, be it an office building, retail store, hospital, or residential property.
The advantage is that field devices can function without shielded wire, which reduces costs and makes them easily installable.
Moreover, input/output modules may be “ganged” in groups of six, thus requiring lesser number of boxes, conduit and wiring. The integrated dialer eliminates the requirement for installing an external unit
It is also for the vendor to have trained and experienced service technicians and operators at a 24×7 central station approved by the local fire department and with all proper certifications to provide on-going support and reliable services within the shortest possible time.
Compliance standards of life safety systems
Safety laws stipulate that all life safety systems must comply with the latest code standards of the NFPA, facility-specific provisions set by insurance companies and local requirements.
Moreover, such systems need to be installed by a trained and knowledgeable team comprising electrical engineers, HVAC, and electrical contractors and architects to ensure that the job is perfectly done ad there is no scope for mistakes and/or lapses.
An existing life safety system may be fitted with water-flow detectors to monitor the passage of water to a sprinkler’s head through a paddle that detects sprinkler malfunctions. Smoke detectors may be put in to detect fires early before they spread. These are mountable on walls or ceilings, and may be subsequently integrated with other safety systems.
Carbon monoxide and natural gas detectors are also fixable to life safety systems detect gas leakages by sounding a highly audible alarm before it touches dangerous levels.
The system may also be activated manually on discovering a fire or smoke by pulling the station handle to trigger the alarm both in the BSS monitoring center and locally.