Fire protection services install, maintain and monitor safety equipment such as flame and smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, fire alarms and annunciators. Flame detectors are used by fire protection services to determine whether a fuel is burning, or if ignition has been lost. Smoke detectors or smoke alarms detect airborne smoke and issue audible alarms. Like flame detectors, they also send signals to fire protection services. Sprinkler systems are fire protection devices which consist of overhead pipes fitted with sprinkler heads. Heat-sensitive seals prevent the flow of water until a threshold temperature is exceeded. Fire alarm services then dispatch emergency personnel to a customer’s location. At larger facilities, fire protection services are alerted by fire annunciators, electronic systems which fit into a standard electrical box and provide visual outputs with light emitting diodes (LEDs).
Fire protection services work with many different types of fire protection equipment. Examples include automatic sprinklers, back-flow preventers, fire hose and nozzles, fire pump controllers, hydrants, and non-water based chemical extinguishing systems. Some fire protection services install, monitor and maintain pipe hangers, seismic sway-brace components for sprinkler systems, underground pipe and fittings, or diesel engine fire-pump drivers. Others repair water control valves, water mist systems and water spray nozzles. Because different types of fires require different types of fire extinguishers, fire protection services may also provide on-site training services. Fire protection services can also recommend the installation of dry pipe sprinkler systems or wet pipe sprinkler systems. As a rule, dry pipe sprinkler systems are used in buildings that are subject to freezing temperatures. By contrast, wet pipe sprinkler systems are designed for heated structures.
Fire protection services comply with a variety of state, local, federal and provincial requirements. In the United States, businesses comply with codes from organizations such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors (NAFED), the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). In Canada, fire protection services meet requirements from the Canadian Fire Alarm Association (CFAA), the Canadian Automatic Sprinkler Association (CASA), the Canadian Fire Safety Association (CFSA), and Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC). In Europe, the Fire Protection Association (FPA) provides information such as construction-site fire prevention checklists and guidelines for supplying water to automatic sprinkler systems.