The #1 myth about fire and security systems is that once they’re installed, it’s “one and done.” Not true. As your business expands, dials back or changes over time, your systems require regular maintenance and ongoing monitoring. Neglected fire and security systems can increase risk and cause serious problems when not addressed.

I totally understand that getting a new system might not be in the cards for your business right now. In that case, take some advice from the 1970s hit from Crosby, Stills and Nash: “Don’t be angry, don’t be sad, don’t sit cryin’, … love the one you’re with.”

Nothing Lasts Forever

Now, as a general rule, if you baby your fire and security systems with annual maintenance and inspections, you can get about 10 years of coverage. But, if you’re tough on your systems, the average life cycle is about five years. Several factors influence life spans:

  • Type of equipment: For example, older analog cameras can hamper capturing the data that helps police apprehend vandals and press charges.
  • How much the systems are used: Like a lightbulb, a camera sometimes burns out if it’s always on. Images may start to blur and produce lesser quality as they age.
  • Ongoing technology changes: Systems can be updated or adapted with the latest technology, such as adding a box will turn an analog camera into an IP-driven device.
  • Extreme weather: We live in a part of the country with a 150-degree temperature range over the year. Fire and security systems must withstand hail, high winds, blizzards, heavy rain, and weather-related power outages.

2020 was an especially difficult year here in the Twin Cities. We all found out just how crucial fire and security systems are. Hundreds of businesses experienced fires, vandalism, looting, break-ins and theft—both large and small scale—as a result of the spring riots and closures from the past several months.

COVID has been another challenge. Businesses have reported an uptick in petty theft, probably due to higher-than-normal staff turnover due to employee illness or down-sizing. Access codes should be changed frequently, and surveillance cameras must operate effectively. Plus, system tests, inspections and service calls need to be done following stringent COVID safety protocol.

TLC for Your Systems

February is a great time to show some “love” to your fire and security systems. Brothers Fire & Security can evaluate how your systems are performing and make recommendations for improvements.

  • Do you have more than one vendor? (Hint: Two is one too many.) How are those relationships working out? Are you paying too much? Schedule a FREE vendor review consultation with us. We’ll take an independent look at your systems to make sure your vendors meet your current needs. We can save you an average of 25% when you bundle services all under one roof.
  • To complement your system updates, make sure your new hires and staff are up to date with how fire extinguishers work. Our Life Safety Made Simple online training platform features “How to Effectively Use Fire Extinguishers.” Not only will this knowledge be an effective defense against fires, but the course will also keep your staff in OSHA compliance.
  • Not sure what you need? Let us help you plan your 2021 and 2022 budgets to make sure that your fire and security needs are being met with our cost-effective solutions.

Important Actions Steps

The Brothers Fire & Security website is packed with lots of free education and information about many life safety issues

  • Check out our FREE resources about testing and inspections and download the matrix worksheet to plan your system’s maintenance.
  • Review our blogs for news about fire and security systems and safety education.

Finally, continue to assess how your fire and security systems are meeting your current and upcoming needs. If you have questions or concerns, we’re here to help you 24-7, every day of the year!

About Brothers Fire & Security

As one of the premier providers of fire and security solutions in the Upper Midwest, Brothers Fire & Security strives to build long-term, value-added relationships. We work with business owners and property management companies, as well as all types of public institutions to solve fire and security needs. By taking advantage of our integrated bundled services, many of our clients find that they can save 25-30% on their safety services, annual inspections and more. From a single location to franchises throughout the region and the country, our integrated approach saves our clients valuable time, money, and stress. We provide fire protection systems, security systems, fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, 24-7 monitoring, fire extinguishers, card access and kitchen hoods. We also provide our Online Academy: Life Safety — Made Simple with eLearning courses designed to help you get and keep your staff trained and your business fire and security code compliant.