Whether false fire alarms are caused by pranksters, poor maintenance, bad system design or careless contractors, there's nothing humorous about them. Buildings that fail to address this problem run the menace of wasting valuable public safety resources every time officers are dispatched to deal with another red herring. Furthermore, the building occupants will likely stop taking fire alarms seriously when fire alarm systems repeatedly sound without reason. The following are ways building owners or managers can minimize the number of nuisance or false fire alarms in school campuses, hospitals or cafeterias.
Given that a high number of false fire alarms are often mischievous or malicious, addressing this issue may have a significant impact on the actual number of nuisance alarms. Coming up with clear and fair discipline regulations is the initial step. Building occupants ought to be informed of the repercussions of mischievous, false alarms. If anybody is found guilty, they should be dealt with based on the discipline policies, but never downplay it. In universities, the detention of all those who mischievously activate fire alarm systems can be widely publicized in a bid to warn others who may be inclined to commit similar pranks.
Carry out fire safety training programs
Education plays a critical role in reducing nuisance fire alarms caused unintentionally by smoke from food preparation, hairspray and the like. In education institutions with residence halls, the administration should conduct programs on teaching new students on how to use the dormitory's cooking equipment. Instructions should involve keeping the microwaves and stoves clean and closing the kitchen door in order to stop smoke from escaping into other sections of the building, activating the fire alarm system. What's more, candles and smoking should be prohibited inside the building.
Install fire detectors in the right locations
Smoke detectors placed adjacent to cooking appliances, kitchens, bathrooms or locker rooms will most likely be unintentionally set off by the steam or smoke released by these sources. As a result, these detectors may need to be repositioned. Nevertheless, this move has to be analysed beforehand. Fire alarm placement is not arbitrary, as the building codes determine where they ought to be. It requires a professional with knowledge of the code as well as the equipment to install a smoke detector in the right place.
Fire alarm system maintenance
Lastly, false alarms and poor system maintenance go hand-in-hand. Therefore, fire alarm system maintenance is very important. Fire alarm systems should be cleaned regularly. Moreover, the building staff should carry out regular visual check-ups of the fire detection systems and control panels.
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