Fire Alarm Inspections in Maine

Cunningham Security Systems provides comprehensive fire alarm inspection services. Our specialized team of licensed and highly trained technicians is dedicated to providing the best and most efficient inspection of your commercial fire alarm system. Annual fire alarm inspections are required by law in every municipality in the State of Maine. While some cities and towns have stricter enforcement of code than others an annual fire alarm inspection is a necessary service for every building owner. Ensuring that your property has a properly working fire alarm saves lives.

What is a Fire Alarm Inspection?

A fire alarm inspection is a systematic examination of your fire alarm system to ensure it functions optimally and meets safety standards. This proactive process involves checking all components of the system, including smoke detectors, heat detectors, CO detectors, wiring integrity, sounding devices, visual signaling devices, and communication devices, to identify any potential issues or weaknesses. This process involves triggering each device to make sure that it can do its job if it’s needed. The system is also put into an alarm state to make sure that it sounds properly and audibly across the building and that other occupant notification devices function correctly such as flashing lights or exit signs.

Lastly, the signals received by the central station are tracked to make sure that they are communicating properly and are coded accurately. For instance, many buildings have multiple floors and rooms. A fire alarm will always communicate either the zone or the specific device to the central station that has been triggered. The zone tells the area of the building, such as the “third-floor west wing”. In a fully addressable system, the exact device and location should be communicated accurately. This saves first responders precious time when they arrive on the scene so they know exactly where to go. This must be tested annually so that there are no programming errors causing inaccuracies.

Why Choose Cunningham Security for Fire Alarm Inspections?

  1. Licensed and Highly Trained Technicians: Our team consists of experts with the necessary licenses and rigorous training, ensuring that they are well-equipped to handle the complexities of fire alarm systems. To inspect fire alarms in the City of Portland, Maine our technicians must be NICET II or IMSA II certified. These certification programs prove a high level of competency in working with electronic fire alarm systems. This means that you know with Cunningham Security, you can trust that your inspections are conducted by professionals committed to maintaining the highest safety standards.
  2. Smart and Efficient Inspections: We utilize cutting-edge technology and efficient inspection methods to streamline the process without compromising on thoroughness. For instance, we barcode each device in your system. That way we can quickly move through and check each detector systematically to ensure that we do not miss any or waste time manually tracking them each year. Our goal is to minimize disruption to your operations while ensuring the comprehensive evaluation of your fire alarm system.
  3. Professional Report Generated: Cunningham Security generates a professional inspection report after each inspection cycle. The report either details that every device is working properly or that there is a deficiency. This way a building owner or fire marshall can look at the most recent report, or a history of reports through the years. Any deficiencies identified come with recommendations for replacements, upgrades, or other service. We use a program called Building Reports to professionally manage our inspections and reporting.
  4. Cunningham Installs Fire Alarms in Maine: As a local installer of commercial fire alarms, we are experts in the local code and compliance. We monitor thousands of fire alarms in Maine, and also provide service, and provide annual inspections. Because we do everything from designing the system, performing the installation, programming the fire alarm control panel, monitoring the system, servicing and upgrading the system over time, by the time we perform an annual inspection we are deeply in tune with how the system works. While we also provide inspection services for systems we do not monitor, we love providing the “a-z” comprehensive services that our customers love. As an installer with thousands of customers in Maine, we work regularly with each city and town’s fire marshalls and town hall permitting departments. Our first-hand experience and personal relationship with town officials mean your experience is smooth and efficient. We are also on the city of Portland, ME’s approved list of fire alarm installation, service, and inspection companies.

Importance of Fire Alarm Inspections:

Regular fire alarm inspections are crucial for several reasons:

  1. Early Detection of Issues: Inspections help identify potential problems before they escalate, ensuring that your fire alarm system remains reliable when needed most. Simply put an inspection finds issues before you have a fire.
  2. Code Compliance: Fire codes and regulations require regular inspections to ensure that your property adheres to safety standards. The City of Portland requires inspection stickers purchased from Town Hall to be affixed to the FACP. The stickers are registered with the city log and include the names of the technicians who performed the inspection. Cunningham works closely with the city of Portland to remain an approved vendor. We even count the city among our fire alarm customers and regularly perform inspections on the fire alarms of city-owned buildings.
  3. Reduced Liability: By maintaining a properly functioning fire alarm system, you reduce the risk of liability in the event of a fire. Inspections demonstrate a commitment to safety and responsible property management. If your inspection took place more than 12 months ago you put yourself at financial risk if there is a fire.

How Much Does a Fire Alarm Inspection Cost

A fire alarm inspection normally consists only of labor hours. Cunningham determines inspection prices by the number of man-hours it takes to perform the inspection and multiplies this by our hourly rate. Hourly rates can vary depending upon the location of the site, whether the work is being performed during a weekend or night to accommodate your schedule and other special considerations such as whether other special equipment is required such as a scissor lift or a sensitivity detector. Generally, our commercial rates range from $135 to $165 per hour. A fire inspection on a single-family residence may be less expensive as it is subject to the residential rates which are generally less expensive than commercial rates.

The best way to make an inspection fast and efficient is to make sure that the Cunningham team can perform the inspection smoothly. For building owners, the best way to make sure a fire alarm inspection is fast includes:

  • Make sure the technicians have access to all areas. For instance, in an apartment building, all apartments should be unlocked or access should be granted quickly. Closets must be unlocked and our technicians need access to the fire alarm control panel throughout the inspection.
  • Make sure there are no obstructions in the way of detectors. Our technicians need access to every single detector. This may include difficult-to-reach areas such as heating ducts to test the duct smoke detectors or elevator shafts.
  • If other vendors must be involved such as elevator companies, make sure they are scheduled to arrive on time in conjunction with when our technicians will be on-site. This is a common reason our techs may be onsite longer than necessary.
  • Make sure the bar codes are not removed from our devices. We use them to scan the device in the Building Reports tracking software which expedites the tracking and reporting.
  • When possible, it may speed up the inspection by having occupants clear of the building during the inspection. While this is not always possible, the inspection does sound the alarm horns and it can be irritating to occupants. Occupants also may hinder our technicians at times if they obstruct them from operating efficiently.