USA Security Services Blog
When was the Last Time Your Fire Alarm System Was Tested?
Your Household Fire Alarm System Should Be Professionally Inspected, Tested And Maintained By A Qualified Person From Your Alarm Company
Fire Alarm Systems shall be designed and installed to provide for early warning detection of a fire emergency. The criticality of fire alarm system reliably is that if the subscriber and their family get early warning of the fire, they can escape in most cases before the premises become untenable. Conversely, if the fire alarm system does not provide for early warning detection and/or if the fire alarm system fails to function as intended, it is highly foreseeable that the occupants of the home will be seriously injured and/or be killed.
Undeniably, time is the most important commodity when it comes to fire protection and the more smoke detectors that are installed throughout a home, the more likely it is that early warning fire protection can be achieved. In the meanwhile, while the most likely cause of the fire alarm system failures is improper maintenance there is and has been a systemic problem in the alarm industry for years when it comes to having a qualified person inspect, test and maintain household fire alarm system in the accordance with NFPA 72® of the National Fire Alarm Code which requires that all household fire alarm systems be tested every three (3) years and NFPA 72® of the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code which requires that all household fire alarm systems now be tested annually.
In other words, despite NFPA 72® Standards for more than a decade, the majority of the household fire alarm systems which are installed across the country have still never been tested by a qualified person after the system was originally installed nor were the subscribers ever made aware of this life safety requirement. Consequently, without the proper inspection, testing and maintenance of household fire alarm systems there are an unknown number of families throughout the country who are at an increased risk of serious personal injury and/or death due to fire and smoke and they do not have the foggiest idea since their alarm system is “working,” there are no trouble conditions indicated and their alarm contractor has never told them that their household fire alarm system needs to be inspected, tested and maintained annually. When was the last time that your household fire alarm system was professionally inspected, tested and maintained? It’s a matter of life or death.
Watch Out for the Fine Print
Over the years, we have heard so many horrible stories about customers being "locked-in" to contracts, by their security and monitoring companies. The reason is that they have a clause in the contract that automatically renews the contract, simply because the customer did not cancel the contract 30 to 60 days before its expiration. Sometimes the automatic renewal also comes with a rate increase.
At USA, the customer is never bound to a contract, unless they want one, and USA never includes an automatic renewal clause. We believe, if the customer is happy with the services USA provides, and the pricing is competitive, the customer will remain a customer for years to come.
If you are thinking about changing security companies, it is a good idea to review your current contract, and take note whether or not you have an automatic renewal clause. If you do, memorialize the anniversary date of the contract, and be sure to cancel, in writing, within the cancellation period allowed by the contract.
Don't become a victim in one of the horrible "automatic renewal" scenarios.
Control Panels & Smoke Detectors
Some important information, to remind our valued customers, and visitors to our web site that some older control panels, those installed in the late 80’s and through the 90’s, may, from time to time, fail to communicate to central station because the customer switched their telephone service to one of the digital companies, (Time Warner, Comcast, Verizon, Optimum, etc.). There are several remedies to this issue that can be discussed with Liz (extension 131), or Jen (extension 128), from our office. A simple way to see if you are affected by this issue is to set off your alarm system, and check with the central station to see if they received the signal. In the event that they didn’t receive the signal, you should contact our office to report that fact, and to get information regarding a remedy. Always have your pass word or code available when you attempt testing your system.
Secondly, the fact that smoke detectors should be replaced after ten (10) years, is becoming a more prominent topic of discussion. As you may or may not know, USA’s carbon monoxide detectors sound an “End of Life” signal shortly after their fifth year installation anniversary. Smoke detectors do not currently have that feature. If your smoke detectors are over ten (10) years old, and you want to have them replaced, please contact Liz or Jen for pricing.
As always, we thank you for your patronage, and remain ready to serve your security needs professionally and at a competitive price.