What could be giving you a false alarm?

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Unwanted Fire Alarm Signals are a concern to both business and Fire and Rescue Services.

Most fire alarm systems cause no problems but those that frequently have false alarms cost the UK in excess of £1 billion a year.

There are many causes of false fire alarms. Here are some example reasons listed below:

  • Common false activations can be caused by airborne pollutants, cooking fumes, insects and steam or dust. Make sure staff and contractors are aware of where detectors are so they can be mindful where carrying out tasks. If works are taking place consider isolating the affected fire alarm zone for the duration of the works.
  • Also consider whether you have the right detector in the right place. Is a smoke detector appropriate for the office kitchen where simple things such as steam from a dishwasher and burnt toast can activate the alarm system? It may be best to have a heat detector in such areas linked to the alarm system. This would greatly reduce the chances of false alarms.

Why fire alarm maintenance prevents false alarms?

The maintenance of the system is very important, a fire detection and alarm system should be maintained by a third-party accredited service provider, ensuring only competent persons work on the system and any faults should be investigated and resolved immediately.

Ageing systems and components

Manufacturers generally recommend the replacement of detectors between 10 and 15 years, the recommended age varies across the wide range of manufacturers. Ageing equipment can be a cause of false alarms as the components start to fail.

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References: Inside Housing