According to the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office, approximately 23% of all Fire Department responses in Ontario are false fire alarms. False fire alarms present a significant safety risk for firefighters, and could leave you responsible for a significant fine from the fire department. Because of this, it’s critical that you make an effort to reduce the possibility of a false fire alarm occurring at your facility. To help, here are four easy steps you can take to reduce false fire alarms.
1. Regular Maintenance
The best way to prevent false alarms at your building is through the regular maintenance of your fire alarm system. To execute this, we recommend working with a certified fire alarm installation and service company to complete your regular maintenance, and upgrade any deficiencies. Examples of some of common maintenance activities include:
- Testing and calibration of alarm sensors, such as heat and smoke detectors.
- Stimulate inputs and test the annunciators.
- Set the alarm sensitivity.
- Coordinate testing with the alarm monitoring company and/or Fire Department.
- Check alarm system battery.
2. Be Proactive
If you have construction or renovations planned for your building that could potentially produce a lot of visible dust or smoke, you’re vulnerable to accidentally setting off your smoke detectors. In order to avoid this, we always advise you to notify your fire alarm monitoring company of the work so that they can put your alarm out of service while the work is being done. If you fire alarm monitoring company is aware of the work, they can help reduce the possibility of a false fire alarm response by the fire department.
3. Proper Installation
A fire alarm system is an important component of a building’s life safety. This system is made up of devices, which indicate to a control panel that a fire has been detected and then alert building occupants to evacuate via audible and/or visual signaling devices. Due to its critical nature, it’s important to ensure that your chosen installer meets all of the requirements indicated in the Fire Code. The individuals who complete your fire alarm system installation must have successfully completed the programs and courses provided by the Canadian Fire Alarm Association (CFAA).
4. Watch the Stove
As we mentioned in a previous post, the office kitchen is one of the most common locations for a fire to originate in a building. In many cases, smoke caused by burnt food is the primary reason for a false alarm. Building occupants and staff should be reminded to apply the same safety precautions they take at their own homes when doing any cooking at the office. This may also result in having to enforce cooking and eating area policies to reduce the possibility of false fire alarms caused by cooking.
False fire alarms can definitely be a problem that costs you a significant amount of money, especially if the authorities respond to the alarm and find that there is no real problem. By following the tips above, you can lessen the odds of this happening.
For over 30 years, Fire Monitoring of Canada (FMC) ahs been a leader in the monitoring of fire alarm and intrusion alarm systems. If you would like to learn more about fire alarm systems, call us at 1 888 789 FIRE (3473), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out the contact form below.