A fire can happen in minutes and result in injuries, loss of life, and destruction of property. A commercial fire alarm system protects your employees and your business. Early detection is key, and a commercial fire alarm system will alert you and your employees as soon as fire or smoke is detected.
A commercial fire alarm system is a big-ticket purchase for most businesses. However, a commercial fire alarm system costs money well spent to safeguard your workers and your assets.
So, how much does a commercial fire alarm system cost? Read on to find out.
All About Commercial Fire Alarm System Cost
Costs vary widely depending on factors, but commercial fire alarm systems may have an overall cost of around $1800-$20000 or more.
Also, several factors can affect the cost of installation of a commercial fire alarm system: the size and age of the building, the type of fire alarm system, the components of your system, and the cost of maintenance of fire alarm systems.
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Factors To Consider
Building Size & Age
The size of your commercial structure will significantly impact the cost of your fire alarm system. Typically, the more square footage your building has, the more expensive your equipment and installation cost will be because you will need more sensors, alarms, and pull stations.
In general, the commercial fire alarm system cost will follow these guidelines:
- Count on an average cost of $1 to $2 per square foot for a simple installation.
- For a complex structures, such as in a multi-floor building, the price may increase to $3 to $5 per square foot or higher.
- Because older buildings often present unique challenges, retrofitting an older structure may cost between $4 and $12 per square foot. This is due to the cost of additional labor for a more complex installation. New construction installation is usually easier and cheaper.
- The cost to install a fire alarm system in a warehouse or an apartment building averages $1800-$2500 per apartment.
- Installation in an ample, crowded office space or other structure can cost up to $15,000 to $20,000.
Type of System
The type of system you choose will impact your overall commercial fire alarm system design and cost, especially in terms of labor. You can choose between a wired system or a wireless system.
In new construction, many business owners choose a wired system due to the ease of installation during the building process, reliability, and response time to a fire threat. The equipment is more straightforward and less expensive overall.
However, a wireless system in older buildings may be less expensive to install to avoid the labor-intensive process of running wires in existing ceilings and walls.
Fire alarm systems’ quick, low-hassle installation will minimally disrupt the work environment.
Components of Commercial Fire Alarm System
Your fire protection components will affect the overall commercial fire alarm system cost. Fire alarm equipment prices vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. The following components are part of a commercial fire alarm system and include initiating devices, notification appliances, and suppression devices. The number of each item needed depends on the size and type of your commercial building.
Manual Fire Alarm Pull Stations
The National Fire Protection Association 101 Life Safety Code requires at least one manual fire pull station in each commercial building. A manual fire alarm pull station costs $20 to $99. Many businesses utilize more than one.
Smoke detectors should be installed properly on the ceiling of every room in a building. A single smoke detector ranges from $10 to $70.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, a smoke alarm covers a radius of 21 feet. The maximum recommended distance between two smoke alarms is 30 feet.
Business owners can use this information to calculate how many smoke detectors are needed for fire safety code compliance.
Heat detectors are an essential element in protecting property in commercial buildings. The cost of a heat detector for commercial buildings ranges from $11 to $150, and in some cases, the installation cost still needs to be included.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide detectors monitor the carbon monoxide levels and invisible gas in the air. You can purchase carbon monoxide detectors for as low as $15 to as high as $150.
Flame detectors are often used in businesses prone to large-scale fires or explosions, including factories or businesses that store highly flammable products.
A flame detector is recommended for large commercial buildings and an existing building with a more complex system. A flame detector costs much more than other devices at $2800 to $3000.
Fire Alarm Control Panel
A fire alarm control panel serves as the brain of the fire alarm system. It monitors all detectors and can respond to a fire in various ways, such as sounding evacuation alarms, initiating sprinklers, and closing fire doors.
The control panel can be “addressable,” meaning that each detector is assigned an address. When an emergency arises, it is easy to pinpoint the location of the fire. The cost of a basic addressable control panel such as Firelite ranges from $2000 to $5000.
Audible & Visual Warning Devices
Notification appliances play a crucial role in a commercial fire alarm system. A notification device will sound loud to attract everyone’s attention in the building.
In addition to audible devices, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires the installation of strobes in all public areas. In the case of a fire, a deaf employee or customer may not know the sound of a fire or smoke alarm. These notification appliances range from $40 to over $200 per unit.
Sprinkler systems fall under the category of suppression devices. Many business owners consider fire sprinklers essential to protect physical property from large-scale fire.
Sprinklers can be automatically activated by the fire alarm control panel when fire is detected. Sprinkler systems differ in size and range, but you can safely estimate a price between $2 and $10 per square foot.
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Generally speaking, the monthly monitoring fee will range between $50 to $100 per month. In some cases, this cost includes yearly equipment inspections. Choosing a reliable monitoring company is vital to protecting your business.
Impact of Modern Technologies on Fire Alarm System Costs
While initial investments may be higher due to incorporating intelligent sensors, IoT connectivity, and AI-driven features, these innovations often lead to long-term cost savings.
According to the Fire Department, enhanced fire detection capabilities reduce false alarms, minimize downtime, and allow for more efficient system maintenance. While the fire alarm costs are higher initially, monitoring fees will gradually decrease.
Do installation costs impact the overall expense of a commercial fire alarm system?
Yes, installation costs are a significant part of the total expense. Factors such as the complexity of installation, wiring requirements, and labor costs can affect the final price.
Where can I get a cost estimate for a commercial fire alarm system installation?
You can request cost estimates from fire alarm system providers or contractors with installation and emergency services expertise.
You can contact us for consultation and cost estimates. We will assess your specific needs, building size, and requirements to provide an accurate estimate.
There are many factors to consider when estimating the commercial fire alarm system cost. Having the peace of mind that your employees and assets are protected is worth the investment.
The cost of commercial fire alarm systems can vary widely depending on factors such as the size of your facility, the complexity of the system, and the specific components required.
This may include fire alarm control panels, smoke detectors, heat detectors, emergency elevator recall systems, sprinklers, notification devices, and more.