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How Much Does a Fire Alarm System Cost?

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Compare Commercial Fire Alarm System Prices

Every business needs a professionally installed fire alarm system. It's not just a good safety practice; it's the law. Local building codes and federal occupational safety standards require compliance with fire alarm system regulations.

Commercial fire alarm systems are triggered by smoke, rapid changes in temperature, or flames. When a smoke or heat detector is activated it triggers a central monitoring system that sounds an alarm throughout the building to warn employees. Simultaneously, it notifies the fire department. In many cases, central monitoring systems are also connected to sprinkler systems that contain the fire.

Fire Alarm System Average Costs

The cost of your system will depend on the size of your building, local building codes, and the complexity of installation. Generally, fire alarm systems are more expensive to install in older buildings than with new construction.

There are three basic types of fees that come with a commercial fire alarm system: the equipment, monitoring fees and miscellaneous costs.

  • Fire alarm equipment is usually priced at $1 to $2 per square foot for a basic system that includes smoke and heat detectors and alarms that have both visual and audio alerts. For more complex systems in large buildings, the price goes up to $3 to $6 per square foot. Adding a sprinkler system increases the price by anywhere from $3 to $12 per square foot, not including installation.
  • Monitoring fees tend to run $50 to $60 per month. This usually includes an annual inspection to make sure the alarm system is functioning properly. Usually, you will be required to sign at least a three year contract.
  • Miscellaneous fees include extended warranties, which take effects after the initial warranty has expired. Budget about 10% of the total project cost on an annual basis. Some cities and towns require permits before an alarm system can be installed, and those permits often come with small fees.

Choosing a Fire Alarm System Dealer

Because fire alarm systems vary so widely in price, it's best to talk to a local dealer about specific pricing information. Shop multiple dealers and ask for a complete list of all the costs - equipment, installation, maintenance and warranties.

Any reputable dealer will want to visit the site before providing you with an exact quote. That's the best way to determine your exact fire protection needs. Make sure any dealer you select is properly licensed. The company should be licensed with local regulatory agencies and the National Institute for Certification of Engineering Technologies.

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