Commercial Fire Alarm Retrofit at Capital Hill Church


The Capitol Hill United Methodist Church was built in 1964. Recently, the church decided to add a preschool to one of the floors, but soon discovered that the fire system was desperately in need of an upgrade. To begin with, the system had never been connected to the municipal fire department.All of the devices—detectors and panel—had to be upgraded and the panel, monitored by the central monitoring station. Instead of only upgrading the floors for the preschool, the church decided to bring the entire building up to code.

The work of installing the detectors was a challenge in itself given the age of the building. Urban Alarm’s technicians ran into physical obstacles, such as ducts and vents, which made the wiring difficult, but not impossible.

Expanding the project posed several issues that Urban Alarm had to tackle. A time constraint was one, as the upgrade had to be finished before school was in session. In order to meet the necessary regulations and keep the project within the budget and time limit, Urban Alarm had to work closely with city inspectors. On working with the inspectors, project manager/field supervisor Nabil Osta said, “…We came back with very positive feedback. And we were able to get a compromise that worked for the customer, the city, and the city inspectors."

Alexis Tinsley, Director of Childhood Education for Hill Havurah, expressed her satisfaction with Urban Alarm’s work, "They addressed all of our concerns and the concerns of DCRA. They worked hard to make sure that everything happened the way it needed to and that it happened in a timely fashion.”