Professional Services

Take control of your facilities

At American Fire and Life Safety, we are committed to delivering exceptional client service across our three service lines – Advisory, Product Implementation and I.T. Support. See how we can take control of your facilities for you.

Advisory

Product Implementation

I.T. Support

Today’s decisions are tomorrow’s pillars of success. Whether your focus is on transforming your facility operations or getting ready to take the next step and expand the scope of your team, we can help you improve the performance and effectiveness of your operations by understanding your existing business processes and matching our capabilities with your business objectives.

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Whether it be the Alarm Monitoring System or the Incident Management System, a successful implementation relies on an accurate account of your facility assets and a cohesive plan of action for your team to adjust to new and more effective workflow processes. Strong implementation support provides critical insights for facility managers and other project stakeholders, a robust and clear perspective to implementation time and cost, and a smooth transition.

Your critical facility operations depend on the stability of your I.T. assets. We offer integrated and timely I.T. support services that are designed to ensure your I.T. assets are well maintained and I.T. changes are well planned and executed, and with the objective to achieve zero I.T. down time.

Advisory Services

Today’s changing business landscape creates challenges for fire and life safety

Today’s business landscape is frequently being reshaped by mergers and acquisitions, regulatory changes, and trends. For many facility managers, coping with these changes put their resources under stress. As a result, maintaining a high safety standard for their facilities is a challenge.

If their resources are not managed properly, infractions of local fire and life safety codes may occur unnoticed. This exposes the facilities to financial risks from fines by local authorities, and extensive property damages in the event of fire. It also exposes the occupants to serious safety hazards.

We can help you understand today’s most critical fire and life safety issues and create strategic plans to address them and protect your facility and occupants from risks.

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Trying to do more with less often results in things simply not getting done. When your workload increases and you are not getting more resources, you need new strategies and perhaps with some new automated tools in order to take some of the repetitive tasks off the table.

We can help you in analyzing your current fire safety operations, and recommend strategies for how to realign your resources and utilize technologies to cope with your increasing workload.

When installing new fire protection hardware or making any changes to existing fire protection systems, there are critical considerations that must be taken into account in order to avoid infraction with the fire and life safety codes. Not getting a project done right may result in code infractions, which ultimately require unexpected additional financial and time investments in order to fix issues.

Our experience in managing fire protection equipment changes can help you to get your fire protection projects done right.

Your facility operations rely on your I.T.assets in order to deliver results. Making sure your computers, servers and network equipment are operating securely and without issues is just as important as making sure your staff is well taken care of. An insecure computer or component of your I.T. infrastructure or a failing server creates significant financial risks and even safety hazards for your organization.

Our technical expertise can analyze your I.T. assets and infrastructure, identify potential points of failure and recommend remedial actions to make sure your facilities is protected from hardware issues and external threats.

Product Implementation Services

Challenges in keeping track of fire protection assets

Your facility constantly changes. Fire protection devices will age over time or become defective, resulting in repair and replacement. Information that are not documented may be lost due to staff turnover. Documentation may get outdated if change control is not well executed. In addition, fire protection devices are required to be tested on a regular basis, and the test data must be kept for multiple years for code compliance reasons.

There are some many reasons why facilities managers and service vendors who manage facilities for their clients, may find it difficult to keep track of all fire protection devices, especially for the large commercial and industrial 24/7 facilities. Yet in order to make sure a fire protection system is protecting the facility as it is supposed to, up-to-date inventory of fire protection assets and all associated test log data is required.

With the Proactive Product suite developed by American Fire and Life Safety, we can help to seamlessly track all fire protection devices and their test data.

Fire Protection Assets

Most often than not, documentation for fire protection assets is not saved in a centralized storage. Documentation for some devices may be stored in one computer, and others may be in anther computer. Some may have nothing more than handwritten notes on a notepad. The documentation may not all be in the same format, and may not be up-to-date. It is also not unusual to have cases where the same device may be documented multiple times in different files under different names.

In the event of inspections from local authorities or filing insurance claims due to fire incidents, improper documentation of fire protection assets and their test records may be basis for fines and insurance claim declined.

We can help audit the data for fire protection assets, put it in order and input it into the Proactive Alarm Monitoring System so all information will be kept and maintained there.

Facility Map Drawings

When there is a real fire alarm, having the dispatcher on duty look up the emergency location from the device address using static paper documents and printed facility map drawings will slow down the first response time, which will ultimately make a bad situation worse (this article has more detail about this problem). Even during fire alarm testing, having the fire coordinator look up the devices being tested using static paper documents will slow down the test team’s performance.

There is little doubt that automating this lookup will help both during emergency and regular testing.

If you have facility map drawings, we can help incorporate the drawings into the Proactive Alarm Management System. We will work with all drawing file formats, even if they are on printed copies.

In order to locate a fire protection device (like a heat sensor or a flame detector), up-to-date facility map drawings are required. During a real emergency, the dispatcher needs the location of the fire protection device that triggered the fire alarm in order be able to direct the first response team to head there. During regular fire alarm testing, the fire coordinator needs the location in order to direct the test team to check all devices without missing any.

Without accurate and up-to-date facility map drawings, the performance of first response teams and the test teams will be hampered, causing loss of time. In the event of real emergencies, loss of time will put facilities at great risks.

We can help reduce facility risks by validating facility map drawings and making amendments to facility drawings in the Proactive fire alarm monitoring system for any discrepancies.

As the business landscape changes (see our advisory services), the workforce in many organizations are already finding that they need to adjust to new business processes and workflow. The introduction of a smart alarm monitoring software should help facilities maintain a high level of fire and life safety standard in facilities only if it can adapt and fit into the facilities department’s business processes and workflow without increasing the workload of a workforce which is already under stress.

The Proactive alarm monitoring system can be easily customized to handle fire alarms in ways that flow with the users’ existing business processes.

Let us learn about your business processes and workflow. Our service team will be happy to make all necessary adjustments to ensure a seamless transition.

I.T. Support Services

I.T. infrastructure – a non-negotiable item for fire and life safety

Like our heart and blood that are responsible for distributing oxygen to important organs in our bodies, servers and I.T. infrastructure are responsible for carrying critical fire alarm messages and device information to the first response team, the fire alarm test team and the facilities department. They are truly non-negotiable items in our facility maintenance budget. The moment they stop working, the facility is at risk.

Unfortunately and alarmingly, many I.T. departments still wait for things to stop functioning before they make improvements in their I.T. infrastructure (according to XSi, a two time Inc. 5000 company led by a tenured team of industry pioneers and former Executives from Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks in their article “2011 Budget Planning Series: I.T. Consolidation, Maintenance & Monitoring“). Our article on how outdated facility maintenance practices create risks explains the reason for this phenomenon.

Facility managers today should take proactive actions to monitor and upgrade their I.T. infrastructure and assets in order to make sure their alarm monitoring systems can operate in the most optimal way, for the same reasons why we should eat a balanced diet and do exercise regularly in order to stay healthy.

We can help keeping your I.T. infrastructure and assets in top conditions so you are never caught unprepared when a real emergency happens.

Creating and maintaining your own I.T. servers and infrastructure could be a daunting task for some facility managers. It requires expertise and potentially large spending budget in order to build out and maintain your own I.T. assets. The operating cost for a facility department often falls under the budget of the building itself, and is not covered by the budget for the company’s I.T. department. For many facility managers, they are on their own to figure out what how to make ends meet for their I.T. needs.

Thanks to the recent advances in the internet cloud technologies, one can virtually build servers and one’s own virtual I.T. infrastructure with a few clicks. The upfront cost for getting virtual servers and I.T. infrastructure created relatively very small comparing with creating your own physical I.T. infrastructure in your premises. In addition, many internet cloud service providers offer high availability services so you don’t have to worry about downtime, redundancy, data backup, etc..

American Fire and Life Safety offers online server hosting options to take care of all hosting needs for you, delivering a true turn-key solution for your fire alarm monitoring needs. Our technical specialists will be happy to learn about your business objectives and present you with the most suitable server hosting option for you to achieve your goals.

Once your fire alarm monitoring system is up and running, you need to have an automatic solution that will make sure the computers and servers that the system runs on are always in good running condition. In the event if there is any hardware failure or signs of any type of failures may occur soon, the automatic solution should notify the appropriate personnel and trigger a process to handle the trouble before the trouble becomes a big problem.

Without an automatic system monitoring solution to monitor the health of the I.T. assets that your alarm monitoring system depends on, your facility and its occupants are at risk.

American Fire and Life Safety offer various system monitoring solutions that not only monitor the health for system itself, but also the health of the computer hardware that the system runs on. Our technical specialists will be happy to provide more information our system monitoring capabilities.

For some facilities, due to regulations or other similar reasons, it may not be possible to have an internet connection to the outside world, and the only way to have a computerized system monitoring fire alarms is to host the computers and other I.T. assets on premise.

It requires technical know-how and perhaps a significant budget in order to set up servers, network switches and routers, and the physical I.T. infrastructure to support the dispatcher, first response team, fire alarm test team and other personnel within the facility department.

American Fire and Life Safety has the expertise to help you create such infrastructure in a very cost effective way. With our I.T. build out program, servers, computers and network equipment are pre-configured with all the required software and network settings installed before they are delivered to your premise. This program offers a turn-key plug-and-play solution for your fire alarm monitoring needs. Our technical specialist will be happy to learn about your business objectives and match them with our capabilities to create a package that make sense for you.

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