Fire protection is a broad term that encompasses many different types of fire detection and response services. Each has its own requirements and ways of adding recurring revenue to your fire safety business. Here’s a general look at the most common fire protection services and their inspection schedules:
Fire Alarm Services
Fire alarm systems detect fire-related threats to a building and alert both the fire department and a building’s occupants of the danger. They can be integrated with the security systems to form a comprehensive threat-detection system, controlled from the same control panel. Fire alarm systems can be very extensive and sometimes a little finicky, depending on how they are set up and what systems may be working in connection with them.
Because of their highly sensitive nature and their connection to the building’s electronic systems, fire alarm systems need to be tested and inspected regularly to make sure they’re working properly. Errors can arise from little things, like excess dust triggering an alarm or a power outage flickering the system. So, in addition to troubleshooting tips to resolve one-off issues like these, the systems also require scheduled inspections throughout the year. While some systems may be able to pass an annual test, other areas require more regular testing, from quarterly to monthly inspections.
These recurring services add recurring revenue to your fire safety business, while helping customers stay safe and code-compliant.
Fire Sprinkler Services
Fire sprinkler systems are life-saving systems that can quickly douse a fire before it has a chance to spread. They work by automatically detecting a fire and then spraying water on the area to extinguish the flames. Because they’re often connected to the building’s water supply, they need to be tested regularly to make sure they’re working properly and that there’s enough water pressure to put out a fire.
Fire sprinkler systems need to be inspected quarterly, at a minimum. Some jurisdictions may require a different frequency, such as monthly or semiannual. These regular inspections help ensure that the system is working properly and that it will be able to put out a fire if one were to start.
In addition to the regular inspections, fire sprinkler systems also require an annual flow test. This test involves opening up the system and running water through it to make sure there’s enough pressure to put out a fire. Flow tests usually take a few hours and require specialized equipment, so they’re often outsourced to fire protection companies.
While the initial installation of a fire sprinkler system can be a big job, the recurring revenue from quarterly inspections and annual flow tests can add up quickly.
Kitchen Suppression Services
Commercial kitchens have their own unique fire risks, from fryers full of hot oil to ovens cranking out pizzas. To help protect against these risks, commercial kitchens are required to have a kitchen suppression system. These systems work by automatically detecting a fire and then smothering it with a specialized extinguishing agent.
Kitchen suppression systems need to be inspected either monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually, depending on the equipment. As with fire alarm and fire sprinkler systems, each jurisdiction may be subject to specific requirements that must be obeyed. These regular inspections help ensure that all the components of the system, from the heat-sensitive links above the cooktops to the CO2 or pressurized cartridges that release the suppression agent, are free of clogs or debris and properly charged.
In addition to the regular inspections, kitchen suppression systems must also be discharged annually to fully test their functionality and catch any compromises in the system. These services save lives and costly damages for those working the kitchens, while providing steady bread-and-butter profits for fire protection companies.
Fire Extinguisher Services
While kitchen suppression systems and fire sprinkler systems work to automatically extinguish a fire, portable fire extinguishers are the first line of defense in most commercial buildings. They’re required by law in most jurisdictions, and they need to be properly maintained to ensure they’ll work when needed. That’s where fire extinguisher services come in!
Fire extinguishers need to be serviced annually, at a minimum. This service includes a visual inspection of the extinguisher to make sure it’s not damaged and that all the parts are in working order. Specific types of fire extinguishers will have additional steps beyond the visual inspection, such as ensuring the powder in an ABC fire extinguisher is still loose or weighing a CO2 extinguisher to make sure it has maintained its volume. If it’s low, the fire extinguisher will need to be recharged or replaced.
In addition to the annual service, fire extinguishers also need to be broken down and have their internal parts replaced every six years, and are often replaced every 12 years. This is because the metal canisters they are housed in can corrode over time and the parts within them can weaken after years of sustained pressure, making them more likely to fail when they’re needed most.
Fire extinguisher services are a great way to add recurring revenue to your fire safety business. They’re relatively quick and easy to perform, and they can be bundled with other services like fire alarm inspections or kitchen suppression system servicing.
Many Options for Growing Your Safety Business and Your Revenue!
As you can see, there are many different types of fire protection services that can add steady revenue to your business. And, the services we covered here are only a sampling of the full range of services offered by full-service fire protection companies!
By offering a variety of fire protection services, you can create a well-rounded business that can serve a wide range of clients. In addition, by staying up-to-date on the latest fire safety codes and standards, you can ensure that your services are always in high demand.
If you’re looking to grow your fire safety business, check out our recent blog that reviews things to consider before adding services.
AFS Can Fund Your Fire Protection Business Growth
If you are ready to expand your business, but don’t have the capital to do so, contact us today! Acquisition and Funding Services offers a variety of financing and brokerage services to help you access the money you need to keep growing your company.
Not quite ready to take that next step? Learn more about fire protection business growth, sales, and management here.