Spring may bring warmer temperatures, but there’s also the increased risk for dangerous lightning storms. In fact, Georgia is the 8th highest state in terms of density of lightning strikes per square mile.

Lightning can render a fire alarm system inoperable in a matter of seconds. What good is a damaged fire alarm system if a fire breaks out?

Surge protective devices are the most effective way to safeguard your building’s fire alarm system.

When lightning strikes

All structures big and small are at risk for damage by lightning strikes. The parts of a building most likely to be struck by lightning are the edges, corners, ridges, and dormers. Other parts most likely to be struck are those that project above the surrounding parts of the building.

However, a building doesn’t have to be hit directly by lightning to affect the electronics on the inside. If there’s something around the building that can conduct electricity, there will be a pathway for the lightning to enter the building.

Lightning protection services for fire alarm systems

Surge protectors for fire alarm systems work just like the surge protectors used for your computer at home. The protector sits passively as long as everything is fine. As soon as an overcurrent is detected, the surge protector breaks the circuit before damage can be done.

There are a few ways surge protectors can guard a building’s fire alarm system from the damaging effects of lighting. One way is to install a surge protector on the circuits of a fire alarm panel. The main circuit is the power circuit coming into the fire alarm panel from the breaker panel.

The other way to protect a fire alarm panel is by putting surge protectors on the circuits that go out from the panel to the devices like smoke detectors, pull stations, and horn strobes. Since sprinkler systems are like big lightning rods in a building, installing multiple surge protectors isolates the panel from field devices so it doesn’t back feed current into the panel if something happens somewhere else in the building.

It may be a requirement

For large facilities with smaller buildings on the property, surge protection of your fire alarm system may actually be a requirement.

According to NFPA Code 780, “surge protection must be installed at all electric service entrances; at the entrances of communications systems; and at the point where any of these leave the building to supply another structure with a cable run of more than 100 feet (30 m).”

This means that it’s a code requirement that any time a wire leaves a building, it has to have surge protection on both ends.

Surge protection installation

Fire Systems, Inc. can install surge protectors on your existing fire alarm system at any time. Even if it’s not a requirement for your facility, we highly recommend surge protection as an added layer of security.

If you’re a business owner, you understand emergencies can happen at any time of day, on any day of the week. Companies available only during business hours are useless should an emergency occur outside of those hours.

Fire Systems technicians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If lightning strikes your building in the middle of the night, you need access to a company that will have the correct parts to repair your system with highly-trained technicians who can act fast to get your facility up and running.

When it comes to fire alarm systems, Fire Systems technicians are trained to service, repair, and install fire alarm systems. We even offer 24/7 alarm system monitoring. Call Fire Systems, Inc. today at 770-333-7979 or visit our website to find out more.