What to do with old fire alarm system
What are my options if I have an old fire alarm system? What are the costs?
What if I have a really old fire alarm system? What are my options? You probably have multiple options. The first step is to bring in the contractor currently servicing the system, another fire alarm system supplier or a consultant to perform a feasibility study on the existing system and related features of the building that may affect installation of a new or replacement system. Total system replacement is not always necessary; many times parts of the fire alarm system can be reused or updated.
When deciding whether to replace, upgrade or reuse the fire alarm system, several things should be considered. The age of the existing system is one of the most important factors. Most fire alarm systems are manufactured to have a life span of 10 to 15 years. Of course, many systems are in service far longer, but maintenance and replacement parts become more costly and difficult to acquire once the manufacturer no longer supports the product. Smoke detectors should be replaced after 10 years because sensitivity will deteriorate and either cause false alarms or fail to detect smoke. Original wiring may not meet current building codes; if you are converting from a general evacuation fire alarm system to a selective evacuation system using voice communications, existing wiring will not be compatible with new system requirements.