According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were over 3800 fires in construction sites per year in the last few years. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you have fire alarms ready to go on your temporary construction sites. Here’s a little information about different kinds of fire alarms that are available as well as why it’s so important properly protect your site.
The Importance of Construction Site Fire Alarms
Fire often spells disaster for any construction site. For example, according to reports from the NFPA, fires on construction sites led to numerous injuries as well as more than $100 million in damage from 2013 to 2017. In fact, major fires on construction sites that cause damages of $48 million, like the one in Alexandria recently, are more common than you might think. All this is to say that having alarms to protect from a fire on construction is exceedingly important.
While it might be tempting to just get a normal fire alarm system with a traditional setup, this is often not possible at a temporary construction site due to several factors. For one thing, you may not have electricity set up for the site to use, which is what traditional systems often use.
Plus, a sound-only alarm may be unwise in a construction site since there could be other loud noises happening at the same time, like drilling, for example. If the alarm isn’t loud enough, it won’t help.
There’s also a problem related to the fact that you don’t want to do extensive work for an alarm if the site is temporary. This could leave behind unwanted structures when the temporary site is over. This is why you will often want types of alarm systems that can be moved quickly.
Direct Communication Alarms
Beyond just alerting you and local workers, it’s also important to have a system that can alert authorities immediately to get help as quickly as possible, so this is another thing you should look for. These can be precoded to get the attention of fire and other services from the local government, saving the need to do so manually.
Quicker response times will lead to less disaster. It is worth noting that you have to have confidence in the unit you use though since you don’t want to risk false positives.
Self-Contained All-in-One Alarms
One option for temporary fire alarms is to use a self-contained system that allows individuals to hit a switch to sound the alarm themselves. These can often do everything at once, including make noise and flashing lights to get the attention of everyone at the site simultaneously.
It’s worth noting that if the self-contained system is manual only for activating its sounder, you should also have another system that can look out for trouble even when no one is at the site.
Alarms That Use Battery Power
One effective way of serving a temporary construction environment is to use alarms that rely on battery power. You could use a generator or some other means of powering it without hooking up to the grid, but battery power is usually reliable and highly portable, in case you have to move your alarms around.
It’s also going to save you time and money compared to having to install anything at the site. You don’t want to have to worry about uninstalling anything later at a temporary site either, so this is another advantage.
These systems include air horns, rotary alarm bells, and other methods of alerting construction personnel of potential problems nearby, it’s worth noting that, in general, these will work best at small sites where you are less worried about automatic detection for whatever reason.
If you happen to have people at the site around the clock, then using a megaphone or an air horn to instantly get everyone’s attention and then give instructions could be ideal. After all, it’s even less likely for them to fail if they don’t even anything beyond minor batteries or just charging.
Strobe lights or other kinds of bright lights like those on swivels can be a great way to gain peoples’ attention, especially at night. It doesn’t take too much light to get the attention of everyone within hundreds of feet at night, and this is exactly what you’re going to want for quick responses.
Choosing Whether to Use Interconnecting Systems
Another important choice to make in terms of types of temporary alarm systems includes whether to use something standalone or interconnected to other alarms. If your site is small enough, then a standalone system may be all that is required since it’s going to be economical, easy to move, and without a lot of extras required such as control panels or extra wiring and installation.
However, if a site is largely in nature and has many different parts to it, then you may want something interlinking. Not only would it be far less economical to have a standalone unit at every part of the site, but one part many not be notified of a situation when another part’s alarms go off.
In the case of an interlinking system, all alarms at all parts of the site could be rigged to go off simultaneously. It’s also worth noting that a system that has direct communication with local authorities would also serve this function as well since the authorities could check the other parts of the site when there’s a problem, and at least notify them of dangers elsewhere in the area.
It’s also often worth adding all elements you want to a site so there’s some redundancy.
It’s important to check prices for different temporary construction site fire alarms so that you can compare and get the best rates possible.
For more information about getting the temporary fire protection that will best meet your needs, make sure you visit a website relevant to the matter. You can also contact them directly to make sure all of your concerns are addressed.