Frequently Asked Questions

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What should I do if my system isnt working properly?

Call BASS-UNITED locally (954) 785-7800 or Toll Free (800) 372-2770. We will be happy to assist you with any service related issues. If necessary we will send one of our technicians to service your equipment.

What is the difference between replacing and upgrading a fire alarm system?

There are significant and potentially costly differences when "upgrading" or "replacing" your fire alarm system. There are generally different requirements regarding the replacement versus the upgrade of existing fire alarm systems, including the degree to which the requirements for new construction must be met. When replacing your fire alarm system, local code requirements for existing buildings may allow a device-for-device replacement without making any changes to the functionality of your current system. Simple replacement may be the right option, provided your existing fire alarm system meets local accessibility requirements. However, a system may need to be modified to meet current code requirements if there have been changes in the building construction, occupancy or maybe even local ordinances.

What do I do if my alarm is beeping or displaying an alert that I don't understand?

Call BASS-UNITED locally (954) 785-7800 or Toll Free (800) 372-2770

When do the batteries need replacement?

The system batteries are rechargeable and are kept charged automatically. When replacing batteries you MUST USE equal size or larger. Call BASS-UNITED to have a technician stop by and replace them.

What does it mean if my panel shows "battery fault"?

The batteries must be checked for a loose connection and/or be replaced and dated.

Why is my alarm false alarming?

The most common cause of false alarm is due to a sensor not performing in it's required specifications. We can assist you with repair or replacement to prevent reoccurrence.

Will my system work when the power goes off?

Your system has it's own battery back-up. This battery is capable of sustaining normal operation for several hours. The batteries will recharge automatically once power is restored and it's status is constantly monitored.

Does my fire alarm system have to be tested by a licensed contractor?

Yes. Most states have adopted the NFPA #72/#101 publication as the code along with their local codes. NFPA states, service personnel shall be qualified and experienced in the inspection, testing and maintenance of fire alarm systems. Examples of qualified personnel shall be permitted to include, but shall not be limited to, individuals with the following qualifications:

1 Factory trained and certified

2 N.I.C.E.T. certified

3 International Municipal Signal Association Fire Alarm certified

4 Certified by a state or local authority

5 Trained and qualified personnel employed by an organization listed by national testing laboratory for servicing of fire alarm systems.

Am I required to maintain a system documentation at fire alarm location?

At the request of the service personnel, owner or a designated representative shall provide system documentation. Your system documentation checklist should include:

1 Fire Alarm System Record of Completion

2 Point to point wiring diagrams

3 Individual device interconnection drawings

4 As Built drawings

5 Copy of original equipment submittals

6 Operational manuals

7 Manufacture's proper testing maintenance requirements.

Do sprinkler systems require a certificate or placard?

No, only fire alarm systems that are central station systems or proprietary supervising station systems require the certificate or placard.

Station systems require the certificate or placard.

Must all fire alarm systems have the fire alarm control panel or remote annunciator at the main entrance?

Yes, all protected premises shall be required to have the fire alarm control unit or remote annunciator located inside the building lobby near the main entrance or, if there is no main entrance or lobby, in a common area where the fire alarm control panel or annunciator can be seen or heard by occupants of the building.

Is there a minimum audibility level for existing fire alarm systems installed after NFPA 72 (2002) edition was passed into law in Florida?

Yes, NFPA 72 dictates the required audibility level of a fire alarm system in the edition under which it was installed as new. Existing systems installed prior to the adoption of the 2002 edition of NFPA 72, that do meet the minimum sound pressure levels, may be required to upgrade to meet the require sound pressure levels contained in NFPA 72.

Can you paint a sprinkler head?

No, NFPA 13 prohibits paint other than that provided by the manufacture. Call us for more info.

When one fire sprinkler head is activated do all other heads release as well?

No, each sprinkler head operates independently of each other.

How often must I certify my back flow preventer?

Annually, contact Bass United to set an appointment today.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless gas that is produced by certain gas-powered appliances and engines. If a gas leak occurs, carbon monoxide can build up in certain areas. If a person is exposed to the gas for an extended period of time, he or she can suffer serious complications. For this reason, many residences and commercial buildings have carbon monoxide detectors, similar to smoke detectors, installed to prevent injusry to occupants.

What are the most common causes of fire?

Different types of buildings are at risk for different types of fires. For example, restaurant fires are often started by kitchen or cooking accidents, although arson is also a relatively common cause of restaurant fires. Fire in boarding and care facilities are most commonly cause by cooking accidents. Fires in apartments and dorms are often caused by smoking materials, electrical and healting appliances, and candles.

How do I use a fire extiguisher?

Whether you live in a high rise apartment or work in an industrial setting, it is important to understand how to operate a fire extinguisher. Most occupational settings with high fire risks should go through safety trainings to show employees how to properly use a fire extinguisher. Even if you have had no proper training, you can learn the "PASS" method:

  • P - Pull the pin

  • A - Aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire

  • S - Squeeze the trigger slowly and steadily

  • S - Sweep the extiguisher from side to side to cover the whole area

How does a fire sprinkler system work?

Each sprinkler head is held closed by a small piece of heat-sensitive material. This piece acts as a plug to prevent water from flowing at normal temperatures. When heated by a fire, the sprinkler heads near the fire are activated and release water to put out the fire. To keep the pressure steady and avoid overwhelming local water suppliers, the entire system is powered by a fire pump, which pumps water at large volumes from a separate water source.

Why is backflow prevention important?

Backflow prevention is important in order to protect a city's drinking water supply from dangerous contamination. Drinking water normally flows through different pipes and connections than non-potable water, but a faulty backflow preventer can draw dangerous water sources back into the drinking water system. Contaminated drinking water sources can cause widespread illness, and therefore annual backflow preventer inspections are required by law.

Do I need to service my fire extiguisher?

Fire extinguishers can protect your building by preventing small fires from escalating into catastrophes. Unfortunately, without regular maintenance and inspection, fire extinguishers can fall into despair. An ill-maintained fire extinguisher may not discharge when it's needed or may rupture when it is pressurized. In addition, a corroded extinguisher may even implode and cause serious injury or death.

It is important to keep your fire extinguishers in proper working conditions to prevent major fires.

What are we looking for during an inspection?

During our visual inspection of fire sprinkler systems, we are looking at all the sprinkler heads to ensure that they are not damaged or impaired in any way. We need to look at all sprinkler heads, which will require access to all areas of the building.

During an alarm inspection we are looking at and listening to all strobes, horns, bells and voice instructions to insure all are working correctly.

Can I paint my fire sprinkler heads or other parts to match the color of my ceiling?

No! Any time a sprinkler or escutcheon is painted, the temperature is required to activate the sprinkler is no longer accurate.

Smoke Detector placement and installation

The placement of smoke detectors is very important. Sleeping areas need the most protection. One detector in a short hallway outside the bedroom are is usually adequate. Hallways longer than 30 feet should have one detector every 30 feet. A smoke detector should be installed in every room that will be occupied.

Be sure to keep the detector away from fireplaces and wood stoves to avoid false alarms. Place smoke detectors at the top of each stairwell and at the end of each long hallway. Smoke rises easily though stairwells. If you should put a smoke detector in your kitchen, be sure to keep it away from cooking fumes and smoking areas.

Proper mounting of a smoke detector is also important. You can mount many detectors by yourself, but those connected to your household wiring should have their own separate circuit, be sure to keep at least 18 inches away from any seas air space near corners. Keep them high because the smoke rises.

Never place them any closer than an air register that might re-circulate smoke. Don't place them near doorways or windows where drafts could impair the detection operation. Don't place them on an uninsulated exterior wall or ceiling. Temperature extremes can affect the batteries.