How to Avoid False Fire Alarms
While they are unquestionably a lifesaving addition to any property, not to mention a legal requirement, automatic fire alarms and smoke detectors are sometimes prone to sounding through error – a false alarm.
This is not only annoying to those living or working on the premises, it can also be dangerous if it is a regular occurrence, leading to a “boy who cried wolf” scenario whereby future alarms are not taken seriously by staff or residents.
It’s estimated that the London Fire Brigade attends a false alarm every ten minutes, leading to huge amounts of time and money wasted (approximately £37 million per year).
If your alarm is of good quality and has been properly installed by professional fire alarm company (such as AAI Security Systems), you are far less likely to suffer from regular false alarms.
Experienced alarm technicians will be able to avoid the common causes of false alarms. So what are some of these?
The location of alarm systems plays a big part in their correct operation.
Both smoke detectors and fire alarms are susceptible to the temperatures and cooking fumes that are prevalent in kitchens, whether at home or commercial catering areas. For this reason, it’s important to install smoke alarms and detectors at least 5 metres away from cookers where possible.
Similarly, the humidity found in bathrooms, spa rooms, laundry areas and the like can play havoc with fire alarms, particularly ionisation units.
Having your alarm systems regularly serviced by trained, BAFE SP203-approved technicians, such as the experts at AAI Security Systems, is the best way to ensure that they remain in optimum working order and legally compliant. However, there are some steps you can take yourself towards alarm maintenance.
As well as regularly changing the batteries in your smoke alarm, which is the baseline level of upkeep, be sure to keep all detectors clean and free from dust and dirt. Anything that could obstruct the sensors is a potential fire safety hazard, putting yourself, your staff and your property at risk.
Dust-filled air leaving air conditioning vents could cause issues with fire detection equipment, leading to false alarms or even malfunction due to blockage. Be sure to have detectors and alarms installed at least 3 metres away from these units.
Any alarm that exhibits faulty behaviour, sounding unprompted or at seemingly random moments, be sure to have it checked immediately by a professional. The cause could simply be a minor wiring issue, or it could be something more serious that requires a trained eye. If the inhabitants of your building are aware that your system is operating incorrectly, they will assume that any alarm calls or false and will not act accordingly in the event of a real fire.
One issue might be the type of alarm that you have installed. If you did not receive expert advice from professionals as to the system most suited to the needs of your premises, this could lead to a lack of optimum performance.
Contact AAI Security Systems for a full site survey to assess the requirements of your property, providing you with expert advice and assistance regarding the fire safety systems most suited.
AAI Security Systems have decades of experience when it comes to the design, supply, installation and maintenance of fire alarms across all domestic and commercial environments. Our alarm range incorporates the latest fire detection technology to ensure greater accuracy, cutting down on the number of false alarms, and we stock industry approved models from a number of leading manufacturers.
Get in touch with the NSI-approved experts at AAI today to discuss your fire alarm needs.