Fire alarm complacency can be a huge problem and can put lives at risk, so too can their lack of maintenance or careful planning and consideration on how and where alarms and detectors should be placed. With lives at stake it is critical that experts are involved with AFA’s, particularly when they are used in medical and hospital buildings, aged care facilities, high-rise apartment blocks and commercial buildings, and backpacker hostels.
There are several factors that can lead to false fire alarms, including:
- Lack of consideration on their placement, such as being too close to the kitchen or bathrooms where steam and smoke may become an issue
- Insects infestation in and around the smoke detectors
- Smoke detectors becoming filled with dust or dirt can lead to over sensitivity and be more likely to trigger than if they were clean and clear
- Following a bout of severe weather, where water can enter the cabling through the ceiling
Large fire safety firms such as Form1 answer more than 10 service calls each week where there has been a false alarm, and after harsh weather this can increase ten-fold.
How can we solve this problem?
Fire systems must be properly maintained in order to reduce the overall callouts for false fire alarms. Fire systems must also be carefully planned, with placement in the best possible location. Heat Alarms and Detectors are also an alternative way of ensuring fire safety, which can help to minimise the likelihood of these incorrect callouts. Pest control will also help with the faults due to insect infestation.
Every ten years a smoke detector should be replaced, as per the AS1851 requirements, and now there are smart systems available that can monitor the health of the smoke detector and flag a ‘fault’ condition when they are dirty. These also are less likely to be activated due to a water issue, this would also appear as a fault.
If you believe your fire systems need inspection and maintenance, contact Form1 today – in Sydney, Newcastle and Canberra.