LP Magazine

JUL-AUG 2014

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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Your Fire Alarm System Can Do More Than Just Detect Fires By Todd Domer, SET, Technical Director, Fire Alarm and Intrusion, Bass Security A ll too often, a fire alarm system is looked at as a necessary evil. After all, it spends the majority of its time hanging on the wall in silence. You interact daily with the security system, access-control system, and CCTV system, but the fire alarm panel just quietly stands by. The reality is that you must meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. Furthermore, the fire alarm system is a very important part of your risk management and often times only the most basic systems are installed to simply "meet code." When you have multiple sites across several states, there is a sizeable chance that there are authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ) that will require you to install more than just a minimal code compliant system. The National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code NFPA 72 requires fire alarm systems to be tested by certified individuals. It also gives the requirements for strobe candela ratings and horn sound levels to help you meet ADA requirements. Once you have installed more than just a minimally compliant code system in one store, the case could be made that you should bring all stores up to that same level of coverage. This is one instance where risk mitigation comes into play—are you giving the same level of safety consistently across all of your sites? Integrating a Carbon Monoxide Detector with your Fire Alarm System In addition to making sure all of your sites have the same level of safety for fire and alarm systems, it is important to look at another risk mitigation device. The CO (carbon monoxide) detector has not previously been thought of as being integral to a fire alarm system. However, that is quickly changing given the potential danger of CO poisoning. Anywhere that you have gas-fired appliances, such as HVAC units and water heaters, you have the possibility of CO poisoning. More cities and states are passing legislation to require CO detectors in commercial establishments. As recently as February of this year, a restaurant manager in a New York mall was killed by CO poisoning. Twenty-seven people were taken to the hospital including seven fire department personnel. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, "Carbon monoxide (the 'silent killer') sends 15,000 people to the hospital every year, and it kills an average of 500 U.S. citizens annually." Information contained within the report is intended to increase awareness. It might even save your life or the lives of friends or family members. Awareness is the key. I believe this is where your fire alarm panel can do more for you. Several fire alarm manufacturers have developed combination photo smoke/CO detectors. By code you are required to have a smoke detector above your fire alarm control panel, and now you can add a CO detector for very little additional cost. An additional bonus is that this CO detector would give a distinct signal at the premises and would be monitored so the fire department would be called immediately to evacuate the site. Future technology will be able to use video to monitor fire and smoke detection. Today, more manufacturers are integrating the fire, security, CCTV, access control, and EAS systems to use the technology to decrease the risk. Bass Security Services is the one-touch solution that can offer all of these technologies. I suggest it is time to let the fire alarm panel and the CO detector do more than just hang quietly by. Let it do more to help you mitigate risk. For more information please visit bass-security.com or call 888-774-3400. Today, more manufacturers are integrating the fire, security, CCTV, access control, and EAS systems to use the technology to decrease the risk. Bass Security Services is the one-touch solution that can offer all of these technologies. Todd Domer 56 JULY - AUGUST 2014 | LPPORTAL.COM SOLUTIONS SHOWCASE BASS SECURITY

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