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Access Control & Integrated Fire Systems

Access control and fire alarm systems are crucial components of a comprehensive strategy for building safety and security. Integrating these systems is a valuable way to optimize the protection of your facility, improve coordinated responses during emergencies, and defend your assets. 

Used correctly, the right access control, security system, and fire alarm system integration will give you exceptional peace of mind and the ability to implement a multilayered scheme for threat mitigation. Today, we’ll cover everything you need to know about integrated fire systems and how to implement them into your organization effectively. 

What is Access Control?

Access control is a security methodology involving various technologies to regulate and manage who can view, use, or manage certain assets. Access control solutions come in many different forms, from electric locks and keypads to biometric systems. While these solutions are crucial to protecting your business assets, they can conflict with fire safety mechanisms. 

In the event of a fire emergency, complex locking systems and access controls can restrict access to firefighters and limit an individual’s ability to exit a dangerous environment. That’s why innovators developed integrated fire systems, which combine access control technologies with fire alarm solutions including smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, etc.

These integrated systems ensure that when a fire alarm is triggered, an access control system can release its locks, allowing for free exit and entry. 

The Components of Integrated Alarm Systems

Integrated fire alarm and access control systems can consist of a variety of components. These solutions utilize a range of different types of equipment to provide companies with greater levels of safety without compromising on security. 

The components of most fire detection solutions can vary depending on the type of property and its existing equipment. However, many offerings include:

  • Fire safety systems and technology, such as smoke detectors, fire sprinkler, and alarms
  • Security systems such as secure access and mass notification technology
  • Continual monitoring capabilities for reliable insights into events
  • Video surveillance with recording capabilities
  • Evacuation equipment, such as speaker systems for distributing alerts

Integrating these components into a single system and network offers a practical, responsive, and cost-effective solution for building protection and security. 

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How to Integrate Fire Alarms with Access Control

The process of integrating fire alarm and access control systems can vary based on numerous factors. First, municipalities determine whether integration is required by examining the locking systems used, which doors are secured in a building, and which access and exit routes are available. 

When it is clear that an integrated fire system is necessary, businesses must:

  • File a permit for the system via the access control vendor
  • Access a relay connection from the fire alarm vendor and any required programming
  • Implement a 2-conductor wire between the fire relay and access control system

Following this, a pre-testing process needs to be scheduled. This requires evaluating the technology from both the access control and fire alarm vendors. In multi-tenant buildings, these tests usually occur outside of regular business hours to minimize disruption. 

The vendors then test the integrated system to ensure that a fire alarm will effectively trigger the release of all required locks via the relay.  A final test is implemented before the system is signed off, with oversight by an inspector from the local municipality. Often, this test is also conducted outside of business hours. 

Infassure Integrated Fire Systems

As a leader in access control, life safety systems, and integrated technology, Infassure can support businesses and building operators of all sizes in implementing and configuring integrated fire systems. We offer extensive consultation services, using years of experience in our industry to assess and carefully evaluate the needs of your building. 

We’ll work with you to determine whether an integrated system is necessary and which technologies must be implemented to ensure the right results. Once we’ve assessed your specific needs, we can design a customized system specific to your requirements, leveraging the latest technologies to suit your requirements and budget. 

Finally, we can install the system for you, conducting both pre-tests and final tests to guarantee the secure functioning of your technology. If you need help implementing an integrated fire system into your building, contact Infassure today for a customized quote. 

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