What is fire alarm monitoring (Redcare) and what are the benefits?
Preserving life is one of the most important functions of a fire alarm, but it can also protect your business continuity and assets. Many businesses are already aware of the benefits of fire alarm systems, but should you opt for a monitored or standard fire alarm system? In our comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through what a monitored fire alarm is and how it differs from a normal alarm.
What is fire alarm monitoring?
If your building is unattended at night and a fire breaks out, how can the authorities be alerted to tackle the blaze? With fire alarm monitoring from Elite Fire Protection, your alarm won’t simply ring out unheard because, using Redcare technology, your alarm system sends an alert to a dedicated receiving centre where they can immediately alert the local fire and rescue department.
How does a monitored fire alarm work?
There is no time to delay when a fire breaks out since it can spread rapidly causing substantial damage and disruption to your business. Monitored fire alarms aren’t dependent on people in the building or passing by to raise the alarm; the fire brigade is alerted as soon as it’s triggered - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
A fire will trigger the alarm in the usual manner in your building
The alarm will then send a signal via landline or 3G/4G phone network
The signal is received at a dedicated monitoring centre
The monitoring centre contacts the fire brigade and key holders for the property
The fire brigade arrives at the property to tackle the fire* *Disclaimer: response is subject to local fire brigade policy
With a monitored fire alarm, auxiliary power can be added as a back-up, which means that the dual path monitoring (3G/4G) will be functional even in a power failure.
The difference between monitored and regular fire alarm systems:
If you’ve already heard of monitored fire alarm systems, you probably already know why they’re superior. For those who aren’t aware of the difference between monitored and regular fire alarms, we’ve got this handy table to highlight just how much extra you get:
|Easy to install and maintain?||✅||✅|
|Does the alarm sound in the event of a fire?||✅||✅|
|Is an alert sent out of hours?||✅||❌|
|Is there a monitoring centre to receive alerts?||✅||❌|
|Can both landline and 4G be used to send an alert?||✅||❌|
|Do emergency services get alerted?||✅||❌|
Why choose fire alarm monitoring?
Does your business have a recovery plan for the event of a fire? It is extremely costly to bounce back from a fire and keeping operations going is crucial, so here are 10 reasons to choose a monitored fire alarm for your site over regular systems:
You get peace of mind 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
You won’t have to rely on someone else to raise the alarm
There is more chance of preserving life
Your premises stand more chance of surviving a fire
Assets and data are protected with a quick response from the fire brigade
Work can continue if your premises are saved - helping protect jobs
Fast signal and response using dual path technology
Easy to install - a low-cost installation using existing phone lines
Secure system - low risk with optimum performance guaranteed
Monitoring can reduce unnecessary call-outs
Key statistics you should know…
53% (56,434) of all incidents attended by the London Fire Brigade in 2018 were between the hours of 6pm and 9am - out of hours.*
If your business operates in the day you will have someone to raise the alarm. But clearly, at night there is a significant risk if no one is able to raise the alarm.
*This includes all call-outs - domestic and commercial, and not just fires.
The government reports that - half of all businesses experiencing a disaster (which have no effective plan for recovery) fail within the following 12 months - gov.uk
A monitored fire alarm could mean the difference between fire damage, allowing you to continue operations, or a fire decimating your building and leaving you with nowhere to work from.
Insurers have reported as many as 70-80% of businesses fail within 18 months to 3 years after a fire. - Fire Magazine
Can you afford to suffer a major fire? The cost of a monitored fire alarm system is undoubtedly a small one when compared with the total loss of your business.
Fire is one of the biggest threats to most organisations - gov.uk
While there are clearly a lot of challenges for businesses to meet, fire is a devastating one with potentially irreversible consequences.
Insurers have reported the top causes of commercial fires were arson, electrical fault, electrical equipment and fires in commercial vehicles.
Whether your business faces one or all of these risks, a fire could end it all. Through a monitored fire alarm system, you can have peace of mind at all times - day or night.
Are businesses required by law to have fire alarm monitoring?
No, it is not a legal requirement to have fire alarm monitoring, but it is highly recommended.
Are monitored fire alarms worth the extra cost?
Losing your business in a fire is far more costly than the cost of installation and maintenance of a monitored fire alarm.
Are monitored fire alarms expensive to maintain?
The answer here is no, they cost roughly the same as a standard alarm to maintain.
The important thing to ask yourself is: could my business survive a fire? As you’ve seen from the statistics, many businesses don’t have a recovery site to operate from and therefore don’t survive.
The financial cost of a fire is devastating, but by investing in a monitored fire alarm system you can help increase the chances of your business surviving. With your site monitored at all times, the emergency services can be on hand much faster to save lives, assets and buildings, allowing you to stay in business.
Elite Fire Protection offers fire alarm installation, monitoring and maintenance for businesses throughout London and the South East. Contact us today to arrange a free site survey and quote.