Installing Fire Alarms at Your Educational Campus

By Andrew Erickson

April 13, 2024

Fire alarms play a vital role in ensuring the safety of students and staff in schools and universities. They provide a prompt warning when a fire breaks out, allowing everyone to evacuate safely.

Keep Up with Safety Codes and Regulations

Safety codes and regulations for fire alarms are there to make sure schools are as safe as possible. These rules can change, getting updated to include new tech as it is released.

Schools need to have a fire alarm system that not only meets today's standards but can also be easily updated to meet future ones. This is important because you have dual interests in both:

  • Staying Legal: Schools need to follow the law (NFPA codes and any local laws) to avoid fines or legal issues. A fire alarm system that can adapt to new regulations helps schools stay on the right side of the law.
  • Keeping Everyone Safe: The main goal of fire codes is to keep people safe. By keeping your system up to date, you're doing everything you can to protect students and staff.

The Role of Expert Help in Designing Your System

Designing and updating a fire alarm system can be complicated. You have to think about both individual devices and how they work together.

This is where getting help from experts can make a big difference. Here’s why expert advice is so valuable during your project planning:

  • Understanding Your Needs: Experts can help schools understand what kind of system they need. They can look at the size of the school, the age of the buildings, and other factors to recommend the best setup.
  • Staying Up to Date: Professionals who work with fire alarm systems all the time know about the latest technologies and regulations. They can help schools choose systems that are current and compliant.
  • Custom Solutions: Sometimes, off-the-shelf products won't work for a school's specific situation. Experts can help create custom solutions that fit exactly what the school needs.

Installation and Maintenance: Keep Your System Ready

After choosing the right fire alarm system, the next steps are installing it and keeping it maintained. Here's what schools need to think about:

  • Professional Installation: Having the system installed by professionals helps make sure it works right from the start. They know how to set everything up so it's reliable and meets all safety codes.
  • Regular Checks: Fire alarm systems need to be tested regularly to make sure they're working. This can include things like making sure detectors aren't blocked and that audible alarms function properly when triggered.
  • Updates and Repairs: If parts of the system get old or broken, they need to be fixed or replaced. This keeps the system ready to alert everyone in case of a fire.

Educate Students and Staff on Fire Safety

A fire alarm system is just one part of keeping schools safe from fires. It's also important for students and staff to know what to do when an alarm goes off. Schools should:

  • Teach Fire Safety: Students and staff should learn about fire risks and how to avoid them. This can help prevent fires from starting.
  • Know the Plan: Everyone should know where to go and what to do in case of a fire. This helps make sure that everyone can get out safely.
  • Run Drills: Regular fire drills help everyone know how to leave the building quickly and safely.

Leveraging Technology for Enhanced Fire Safety Communication

In today's schools, technology plays a crucial role in improving emergency communication. A good fire alarm system should do more than just sound an alarm. It should also send alerts through various channels to the right people.

Here's what to look for:

  • Mass Notification Systems (MNS): These systems can send instant alerts to all students and staff members' smartphones, tablets, and computers. In the event of a fire, timely information about the nature and location of the emergency can greatly enhance the effectiveness of evacuation procedures.
  • Integration with Public Address Systems: A fire alarm system connected to the school's public address system can give live, clear instructions specific to the emergency. This helps guide people to the safest exits and lessens panic.
  • Social Media Integration: In 2024 and beyond, linking your fire safety system to social media helps quickly inform everyone outside the school, like parents and emergency services. This way, everyone involved knows what's happening and can act fast - and not overreact or panic.
  • Emergency Lighting Systems: While not a communication technology per se, emergency lighting systems play a vital role in guiding occupants to safety. These should be considered part of the broader communication strategy during a fire. They visually guide individuals to exits when smoke or power outages might obscure traditional exit signs.

Incorporating these technological solutions into a school's fire safety plan enhances not only the effectiveness of the response to a fire emergency but also the overall feeling of safety and security among students and staff.

You Must Make Fire Safety a Priority

Choosing the right fire alarm system is key to keeping schools safe. It needs to work with both old and new tech, meet safety standards, and be easy to upgrade.

Schools should work with fire safety experts to create and maintain a system that keeps everyone safe.

Regular upkeep (and teaching students and staff about fire safety) are crucial for a quick and effective response to fires.

Talk to Digitize for Help With Your Project

At Digitize, we produce fire alarm monitoring hardware that lets you receive alarms from your FACP and establish a monitoring center on your campus. This has given us extensive experience in installing fire alarms at colleges, universities, and schools.

Wherever you are in your project, talking to the experts at Digitize is a smart move. We'll guide you to the right equipment, even if it means recommending another company.

Plus, we can link you up with our nationwide network of installers and maintenance/service providers.

Call Digitize now at 1-800-523-7232 or email us at

(This article continues with Part 2 of How to Install Fire Alarms in a School, College, or University Campus.)

Andrew Erickson

Andrew Erickson

Andrew Erickson is an Application Engineer at DPS Telecom, a manufacturer of semi-custom remote alarm monitoring systems based in Fresno, California. Andrew brings more than 17 years of experience building site monitoring solutions, developing intuitive user interfaces and documentation, and...Read More