How to reduce false fire alarm issues

fire alarm 28The frequent occurrence of false fire alarms is undermining people’s trust in fire alarm systems. (Image source: Joe Gough/Adobe Stock)Advanced, a leading fire systems provider, has discussed ways to prevent false alarms

“A vital piece in the false alarm management jigsaw – whether in domestic, public, commercial or industrial settings – is education. Ensuring that those who use and maintain buildings understand the central role they play in preventing false alarms can go a long way to reducing their occurrence. Indeed, spreading ‘fire safety and preventive awareness across society’ is a key objective of the UAE’s new Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice,” said the company.

The causes of false alarms are various, ranging from electrical faults, accidental activation and system maintenance to dust, smoking and cooking. Although some can’t be prevented completely, such as malicious activations, call point misuse or activations with good intent (i.e. when someone genuinely thinks a fire is breaking out), many are easy to avoid with some simple, preventative steps.

A thorough and detailed fire risk assessment is essential for specifying a fire system that can cope with all the demands that will be placed upon it. To achieve effective false alarm management, a system needs to offer high levels of control and configurability.

Detectors are becoming increasingly sophisticated and can detect and analyse a higher number of signals from more onboard sensors than ever before. The latest models use smart algorithms to distinguish real fires from false signals caused by steam or cooking smoke, for example. Some also have operating modes designed for particular areas or likely fire types. Many detectors now also offer improved physical protection from environmental pollutants and dust/insect ingress.

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