Do I Need Both a Fire Alarm and a Sprinkler System?

When you own or manage commercial property in Lawrenceville, GA, keeping occupants protected in the event of a fire is of the utmost importance. While it may seem redundant to have both a fire alarm system and a sprinkler system, they both play a major role in alerting people and allowing them to escape the property safely. Here are the differences between fire alarm systems vs. sprinkler systems and how they both work together to keep people safe in a fire emergency.

Fire alarm functions

The main difference between fire alarm systems vs. sprinkler systems is in how they function. Alarms are basically a warning system that alerts occupants of your Lawrenceville, GA building that they need to escape the building. Alarm systems are linked to smoke detectors, but can also engage when someone pulls a manual pull station. Most alarms in commercial buildings have both light and sound components to alert everyone in the building that they need to leave.

Alarm systems don’t actively protect the building or occupants—they simply provide an alert. In most cases, they directly communicate with local fire departments that a fire situation is occurring, usually resulting in faster response times. Consult your local fire equipment professional to select the right system for your needs, and to ensure you follow all regulations for installation, testing and maintenance of the system.

Fire sprinkler functions

Fire sprinklers activate when they sense high temperatures. In most cases, only an individual sprinkler nearby will turn on. If the fire spreads, nearby sprinklers will activate accordingly. Sprinkler systems exist to keep flames from spreading and are mostly intended to protect property.

You need to select the right sprinkler system for the conditions of your business. There are many design variations that are ideal for commercial buildings, restaurants, data centers and other facilities. Working with a fire equipment professional will help you select the best system for your space. While you may wish to skip fire sprinkler installation altogether, you need to be sure you’re following National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards. If your business exceeds 12,000 square feet, is more than three stories tall or has an occupancy load of 300 or more, you need to have a sprinkler system installed by a professional.

Keep in mind that in some cases, you may be required to install both a fire alarm system and a sprinkler system if the NFPA, your local municipality or your insurance company make a determination that you need both. Occasionally, installing a quality fire sprinkler system can remove your obligation to have alarms, although it’s still not generally recommended.

So, do you need both a fire alarm system and a sprinkler system? When comparing fire alarm systems vs. sprinkler systems, you’ll realize they both can play a big part in keeping the occupants of your Lawrenceville, GA building safe should a fire break out. Never skimp when safety is on the line, and choose a reputable fire equipment company to install your new systems. Contact AAA Fire Protection Resources, Inc. today to learn more about the ideal systems for your building.

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