Home Protection + Fire Alarm Systems
Cordillera’s design guidelines require that fire sprinkler systems be installed in each Cordillera residence. Additionally, fire code requires homes with fire sprinkler systems to have fire alarm systems. These systems provide early notice of fires, protecting lives and containing fires until the fire department arrives. Monitored fire alarm systems can also monitor environmental conditions at your property such as temperature, humidity and water leaks. All fire alarms are investigated thoroughly. Cordillera encourages property owners to keep their systems active and to perform annual maintenance.
Local fire codes require that all buildings with fire alarm systems also have a “Knox Box,” a high-security key safe that allows first responders to quickly enter the home without forcing entry. Keys and medical cards are stored at the entrance of your home in order to avoid potential delay and damage to property in an emergency situation.
It is imperative that you contact the Eagle River Fire Protection District, at 970-736-9665, to ensure that the keys and information in the Knox Box are current. They are the only ones who can access your Knox Box using a secure key of which they are the sole owner.
Fire Sprinkler System Maintenance Requirements
Frozen and broken pipes, both in fire sprinkler systems and domestic water lines, account for a large amount of property damage in Cordillera. Annual inspections of the fire sprinkler system help ensure your system will function as designed and that the fluids in the pipes will not freeze.
Codes specify acceptable levels of protectant in a system. Contact the local Fire Marshall at 970-949-5064 for information on allowable levels of antifreeze and to have your system checked.
Property owners are encouraged to use a home security system. While Cordillera, and the Vail Valley, are not areas of high crime, things happen that could be prevented or tracked if an alarm system is in use.
Public Safety is the primary responder to all burglary/intrusion alarms except when an indication of criminal activity is identified. Eagle County Sheriff is the primary responder to panic alarms and to burglary/intrusion alarms whenever criminal activity is indicated.
Backflow Devices + Pressure Reducing Valves
Backflow devices prevent contaminated water from flowing into the domestic water system. Fire sprinkler and lawn sprinkler systems must have backflow devices that are tested annually. In Cordillera, the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District tracks compliance. Property owners who do not comply can expect a letter, and possible action, from Eagle River Water and Sanitation.
Pressure Reducing Valves (PRV) protect plumbing systems from water pressure surges that originate outside of the property. Eagle River Water and Sanitation requires all water systems to have PRVs. Some homes built in Cordillera’s earlier days were not equipped with a PRV on the fire system. These systems should have a PRV installed.
Public Safety responds to all environmental alarms which monitor water leaks, water flows, low or high temperatures, gas leaks and high levels of carbon monoxide. As broken pipes are the leading cause of damage in Cordillera properties, Cordillera suggests homeowners utilize these devices to protect their properties.
During the winter, public safety will treat low temperature alarms as emergencies as this may indicate an issue with the heating system or an open window. Low temperature devices should be installed in the cooler areas of the residence.
Water Cop, FloLogic and Hydrocom make systems to monitor water leaks or unusual water flows and, when activated, turn off the water. Most of these systems can be connected to the alarm system so that the property owner is notified when the system is activated.
Medical and Panic Alarms
A medical alarm signals the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention and to summon emergency medical personnel. Some security systems have a medical alarm built in. Panic alarms should be used only for their intended purpose. Do not use panic alarm if medical assistance is needed because an ambulance will not respond. Eagle County Sheriff is the primary responder to panic alarms.
Public Safety responds to hundreds of false alarms every year that could have been prevented. Property owners and property managers need to know the name and phone number of their alarm monitoring company and be prepared to provide the account number, code and password for the alarm to the monitoring company. If it is a false alarm, the property owner or property manager needs to contact the monitoring company as quickly as possible. In the event the alarm monitoring company already dispatched the fire department, it can cancel the dispatch.
If the property owner or guest does not have the proper code, Public Safety may be contacted at 970-926-2335 to respond to the property and verify the information.
Each property owner is allowed three (3) false alarms; after which, a fine may be assessed.