Yes, it’s a useful snapshot of the health of the fire alarm system
Several of the same types or causes of false alarms can indicate an underlying issue with the management of premises and activities being carried out or deficiencies in the design or maintenance of the fire alarm system. A high level of false alarms can also impact on fire safety by causing compliancy of occupants in relation to the need to evacuate, Identifying a high level of false alarms in the risk assessment can help the duty holder take appropriate action.
Any false alarm investigation and the outcome of that investigation should be done in conjunction with the fire detection and alarm maintenance company.
In carrying out fire risk assessments, consideration should be given to the use of staff alarms in the case of buildings with a significant number of smoke detectors, so that false alarms from smoke detectors do not result in the unnecessary summoning of the fire and rescue services (and, possibility, unnecessary evacuation of the buildings). However, care should be taken to recommend the use of staff alarms only when there is a sufficient number of trained and competent staff to investigate safety, and when resulting delay in evacuation the event of a real fire would not undermine the fire strategy of the building (or any part of the building).
Suitable procedures are necessary to limit the investigate period and to ensure that there are means for investigating staff to report a fire. The procedures must be such that those investigating a fire are not placed at risk.
10 April 2017
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11 September 2017