CAD drawings, plans, fire marshals, building inspectors and inspections.
Often we are asked to provide pricing for large buildings and the customers do not have a decent set of plans that show how the building really is. Sometimes they give us a PDF or even a fire exit drawing which is not to scale and does not show the usage of the rooms such as conference rooms, offices, lunch room etc…
When you are asking to get pricing for a large project it is prudent to get CAD drawings of the building done and pay an Electrical Engineer to design the fire alarm professionally.
If the Alarm company submits incomplete plans and they do not match how the building is actually laid out the Fire Marshal will not only reject those plans but he or she can hold up occupancy or even take it away.
When doing a TI, remodel or new construction the fire alarm plans are very important. It will be an investment well spent. After you have plans you can ask for bids and companies can actually provide you with bids based on correct information.
Today I went on a site visit and we opened an existing power supply which had the fuse bypassed with a copper wire. If there is a fire and the system fails insurance companies will investigate and will not pay claims if the system was not installed to code and maintained. Bypassing a fuse like this is dangerous putting lives at risk.