No matter what business you're in, every commercial building has to have a fire alarm system or a fire protection system designed and verified by an engineer. A reliable fire alarm design will only show its true value when an unfortunate emergency incident occur.
Fire alarm systems are regulated by provincial building and fire codes (based on the National Building & Fire Code of Canada). The goal is to detect and warn people of the dangers of smoke, fire, heat and even carbon monoxide and other emergencies. A good fire alarm system will constantly work in the background, monitoring for hazardous conditions and be ready to give immediate notice to occupants and emergency crews.
Fire Alarm Goals
The goals of the fire alarms system are to:
- Provide safety;
- Preserve health;
- Protect buildings and facilities.
By giving adequate warning to occupants in the case of emergency, injuries and the loss of property can be reduced (along with exit signs and emergency lights). Regulations are set by the Alberta Building Code and the BC Building Code which give the minimum levels of protection required for buildings. Because no two businesses nor buildings are alike, different regulations are required for different facilities based upon:
- Number of occupants;
- Industry (i.e. restaurants are different from industrial facilities);
- Number of floors;
- Required response times.
The required steps for a new or upgraded fire alarm system
Fire Alarm Design
The design of your fire alarm system is customized to your business. We work with you to select the right system arrangement that meet the code requirements and safety goals for your organization.
For growing businesses, we provide room for capacity and growth. For established buildings, we make sure that the design is effective and long lasting. Technology is moving fast and civic ordinances can change with little notice.
ICS Engineering provides independent advice, assessment and fire alarm system design for your facility. The completed drawings are then submitted to local authorities for review and approval. Once accepted, the design and other specifications are then sent to tender for bids from the various manufacturers and installers.
Once the client selects the winning bid, the installation is completed, verified and tested before ICS Engineering signs-off on the required provincial documentation.
As electrical consultants, fire alarm design is one important aspect of our speciality. We work on behalf of our clients and ensure the design is compliant with the latest regulations and standards. We discuss the existing life safety systems and conditions and anticipate the future needs for growing businesses.
Fire Alarm Installation
We are not a fire alarm installation company but rather the engineering design house. Installers provide the equipment, the installation and are usually commissioned to do the mandatory annual inspection and testing thereafter.
Installation companies work with specific manufacturers that make equipment to the latest CSA and ULC requirements. We work on behalf of you and your organization to ensure your facilities get an installed system that is compliant to the intent of the original fire alarm design. Together we can keep one another safe.