A commercial fire suppression system often comprises of a fire sprinkler and a commercial fire alarm system.
In its functioning, the alarm is designed to detect and notify you of the fire outbreak in any part of the building.
Early detection of a fire allows for the safe evacuation of the premises and timely response by the firefighters.
While some residential fire alarm systems may be quite affordable to acquire and install, commercial alarms can cost you thousands of dollars.
However, commercial fire alarm system costs vary from one installation to another. Basically, pricing will be determined by the prevailing code requirements, and a number of units to be installed.
For instance, an alarm system that is meant for use in a casino or lodge will differ from that designed for a kitchen or even a building that houses mainframe computers.
Throughout this guide, you will learn how the design of the system, installation, and equipment affect the total cost.
On Average, How Much Do Commercial Fire Alarm Systems Cost?
The cost of any commercial alarm installation project will mainly depend on the number of floors, and square footage to be covered by the system.
Again, the federal and local authority requirements regarding these systems may also impact the overall cost of the project.
Holding other factors constant, an average system—complete with heat, smoke and carbon dioxide detectors, monitoring and alarm components—will cost between $2 and $3 per square foot.
For the more complex systems, the cost can be as high as $4 to $6 per square foot covered by the system.
You also need to factor in monitoring costs into the overall cost. In most cases, fire alarm system for commercial buildings with will cost you between $40 and $60 per month.
This cost is mainly determined by the size of the building as well as the number of sensors and alarms that need to be monitored.
Commercial Fire Alarm System Cost Factors
In addition to the above-mentioned factors, commercial fire alarm system pricing will also depend on the nature of the project.
In this regard, installing the system to a new building with not cost the same as retrofitting an existing alarm system. Again, the overall cost will also depend on the cost of the materials as well as on installation labor costs.
Discussed below are some of the key factors that I affect the cost of installing a fire alarm system in your commercial building:
Nature of the Project
Would you like to have the alarm installed on a new bushing or are you simply undertaking a retrofitting project?
Although different commercial alarm system installation professionals may charge you varying rates, you should expect to spend about $2 to $3 per square foot installing the system as part of new construction.
If you are retrofitting an existing area, you should expect to spend a lot more money on the project.
On average, a retrofitting commercial alarm system installation project may cost you between $4 and $12 per square foot of coverage.
Commercial Fire Alarm System Monitoring Cost
Most of the leading fire alarm system providers are known to offer monitoring services as well. An effective fire alarm system will notify you and anyone in the building if a fire breaks out.
What if the fire starts when no one is on the premises? Well, this is where commercial fire alarm monitoring services come in.
A monitoring company is essentially charged with the mandate of keeping a watchful eye on your alarms and detectors and know when they go off.
If the alarms are triggered, the monitoring company should know it right away and notify the responsible authorities, especially firefighters for a prompt response.
Well, this does not come for free. Most of the leading monitoring companies will charge you between $50 and $60 per month for the service.
In most cases, this will include annual inspections of the fire alarm system and its components. While this is the case, you should expect to pay discounted rates with annual monitoring contracts.
Installation Equipment and components Prices
As you may be aware, a commercial fire alarm system is compromised of different components, all of which are available in a selection of makes and models.
This being the case, the cost of fire alarm system components will vary from one model to another.
Here are some of the main parts and components you should consider:
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
These are essentially sensors designed to monitor the level of carbon monoxide in the air.
As you may be aware, there are three main types of carbon monoxide detectors to choose from in the market, including:
In this functioning, carbon monoxide reacts with the combination of a platinum electrode and acid inside the detector. This will, on the turn, produce an electric current that triggers the alarm.
For such a detector, you should expect to spend between $50 and $130 apiece.
These are filled with synthetic hemoglobin with Infrared light passing through it. When carbon monoxide enters the unit, it darkens the hemoglobin.
This then makes it more difficult for the infrared light to pass through the hemoglobin, hence triggering the fire alarm. Such detectors are often priced between $15 and $50.
Metal Oxide Semiconductor Detectors
In the design, these detectors feature a tin dioxide semiconductor that is heated by an electric current. The semiconductor senses the presence of carbon monoxide, which alters its chemical resistance.
The fire alarm will go off when a certain resistance threshold is reached. These are more expensive, with most of them priced at $75 to $150 each.
In most commercial fire alarm installations, you will also be required to install a smoke detector—a sensor for monitoring smoke levels in the building.
In most cases, these are installed on the ceiling and most models have I interchangeable batteries
Again, these come in an array of makes and models, all of which are available at different price points.
Regardless of the make and model, smoke detectors apply ionization, photoelectric or a combination of the two mechanisms to detect alarming levels of smoke.
Depending on the type you are installing, to should expect to spend between $10 and $65 for each detector.
Fire Alarm System Design
Although the various fire alarm systems are designed to accomplish the same task—alert you whenever there is a fire in the building—they come in different designs.
For enhanced protection, you may decide to use a combination of the various designs though.
So, how will a commercial fire alarm system design influence its cost?
Four-Zone Commercial Fire Alarm System
This type of fire alarm system will essentially decide the entire buying into four zones.
In its functioning, the smoke detectors and cameras detect fires and inform the central panel where the fire is located. For such a system, you will need to purchase the required parts separately.
In this regard, the panel will cost between $300 and $500 while detectors are priced at $65 each. Most people pay between $1,000 and $1,500 for a full set of the required equipment.
Addressable Panel System
Such a design will cost between $400 and $2,500 for a single building.
It comprises of an accessible central panel which informs users and the monitoring service where a fire is found using cameras and smoke detectors. Individuals see the information on the panel.
Ready to Install a Commercial Fire Alarm System?
Fire alarm systems for a commercial application are often designed based on where they will be installed.
The systems are comprised of multiple parts and components, which may need to be sourced separately.
As such, you need to factor in the cost of all the required installation equipment and parts into the overall cost.
Additionally, should also consider the square footage of the area that will be covered by the fire suppression system as well as installation labor costs.
With this guide, you will not end up paying hidden costs for your commercial fire alarm system installation.