Fire protection is perhaps the most critical component of a comprehensive business security solution. Despite stringent regulations concerning fire safety and detection, around 120,000 non-residential structure fires occurred in 2019 alone to the tune of $4.3 billion in property damage. Even more importantly, fire alarm and voice evacuation systems protect the people inside these structures from the very real and potentially fatal consequences of business fires. Enforcement of fire codes has dramatically reduced fire-related casualties over the last fifty years, but an estimated 1,200 people are still injured and 110 people killed every year due to commercial property fires.
Preserving your inventory and protecting your employees and customers are of paramount importance to you and the success of your business. While fire codes largely dictate the placement and types of devices installed in a business, not every brand of fire alarm system is created equal. At EPS Security, we’re proud to be NOTIFIER®-certified dealers and have installed their storied, scalable, and cutting-edge systems in Michigan businesses of all shapes and sizes. When it comes to fire alarm and voice evacuation systems, nobody does it better than NOTIFIER®–and nobody does NOTIFIER better than EPS Security.
Big, bigger, biggest: NOTIFIER for big businesses
No brand is better designed to fit “big” fire alarm installation needs like NOTIFIER. Their ONYX line of devices is specially crafted for truly massive fire alarm needs. Like all fire alarm panels, ONYX panels individually report alarm signals to a designated monitoring center where professional operators can expediently dispatch first responders. However, ONYX panels are engineered for installation in separate wings of large-scale structures or even in completely separate buildings within a complex and report ONYX device signals to a single monitoring workstation—the ONYXWorks station.
The ONYXWorks acts as a miniature monitoring center, allowing a system administrator or head of security to observe alarm signals live. In the event of a fire, the person in charge of said monitoring can quickly identify exactly where in the massive complex or building that the alarm was triggered. Because they can observe the emergency live, they are better able to provide guided evacuation directions via ONYX’s intuitive voice evacuation equipment, enabling affected tenants to execute rapid and safe evacuations.
Of course, not every company requires such a muscular fire alarm solution. As a more common starting point, NOTIFIER FireWarden panels work well within mid-sized structures given their ability to support dozens of devices. Additionally, an expertly designed NOTIFIER system can be built with expansion in mind by installing ONYX-line field devices in conjunction with a FireWarden control panel. In the event a company does expand, the FireWarden panel can be swapped out with an ONYX panel, increasing the system’s device capacity from around a hundred to potentially thousands. This scalability enables companies with their sights set on growth the ability to save a great deal of money on system upgrades in the future.
The benefits of addressable NOTIFIER systems over conventional fire alarm systems
Sheer size is often the first reason companies and contractors install NOTIFIER systems, but there’s a more technical reason as to why they are a step up from your average fire alarm system. NOTIFIER systems are superior to conventional fire alarm systems in one chief way: the devices on a NOTIFIER system are addressable.
Conventional fire protection systems group devices together in zones. A zone may consist of a single device or multiple devices grouped together. For instance, Zone #18 at your business may be called “Warehouse Floor Smoke Detectors” and consist exactly of that: several smoke detectors covering a large room in a warehouse.
Zone grouping allows for more devices to squeeze into an otherwise capacity-limited system. However, zones in a conventional system are wired directly back to the control panel. This presents two problems:
- A signal coming from a group of devices cannot specify which of the devices triggered the alarm
- If the single path of communication (the wire) is severed or disrupted, the device will cease to function and will not report signals back to the control panel
Addressable systems such as NOTIFER work differently. Each device is given a unique “address” and is connected to the other devices on the system. This interconnectivity forms a “loop” of sorts in which the devices are connected back to the panel across two paths. This allows for two chief advantages over conventional systems:
- Each device can report alarm signals that are specific to an area, allowing for easier evacuation and emergency response
- The “loop” design allows for addressable devices to communicate over a second path if the first path is severed or disrupted.
With the help of additional isolators and relays, addressable devices and systems are designed to provide alarm signal communication even if a single device is damaged. This prevents your entire system from “going down” if a device is damaged somewhere on the loop.
Best of the best—NOTIFER by EPS Security
NOTIFIER systems are complex beasts. Designing a custom NOTIFIER alarm system requires extensive training and experience and as such, few alarm providers are even capable of installing them. Professional alarm technicians must partake in rigorous training and licensing given the high-tech technology and sheer scope of the components involved. At EPS Security, when we tell Michigan businesses we are a NOTIFIER dealer, we wear it as a badge of honor: we install best-in-class fire systems for our customers and can only do so by holding our technicians and engineers to incredibly lofty standards.
A NOTIFIER system can fit most any mid- to large-scale commercial fire alarm and voice evacuation need from both a device volume and a performance standpoint. However, there’s an oft-unsung benefit for customers who use NOTIFIER products—they’re not tied to a specific security provider. We pride ourselves at EPS Security at the quality of our work and the value we pass on to our customer, but if we were to ever install a NOTIFIER system and you weren’t pleased with the quality of our work, monitoring, or recurring services, your system could easily be taken over by another NOTIFIER-certified provider. This feature is an exceptional benefit to the customer, as it forces EPS Security to commit performing exceptional work and maintaining exceptional service—challenges we strive to meet day in and day out.
On the other hand, the non-proprietary nature of NOTIFIER products allows EPS to assume responsibility for expanding, monitoring, and servicing NOTFIER systems formerly serviced by companies whose past performance for your business was less-than-stellar. Additionally, some NOTIFIER providers specialize only in fire alarm systems. At EPS Security, we can handle both your NOTIFIER fire alarm needs and provide solutions for:
Burglar alarm systems
Video surveillance systems
Card access control and intercom systems
24/7 alarm monitoring
Continued system services, including fire testing
With service offices in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Traverse City, and Petoskey, we’re more than capable of handling your security needs from the Indiana border to the Mackinac Bridge. And having partnered with NOTIFIER for more than thirty years, we’re ready to help design, install, and maintain your new system or expansion or even improve the quality of your existing NOTIFIER services. NOTIFIER has long proven the most trusted choice for commercial fire system technologies; let us show you why EPS remains the smartest, safest partner for Michigan businesses.