Sometimes, that morning toast or the birthday candles in your workmates birthday cake are enough to set off the fire alarm, making your heart skip a beat or two and leaving you red faced! On other occasions, a false alarm might be the work of a vandal, looking to create a diversion or cause chaos.
Regardless of how the false alarm arises, it is important to know how detrimental it can be to the emergency services, with unnecessary calls or false alarms diverting attention and resources away from genuine emergencies.
What is a Fire Indicator Panel?
A Fire Indicator Panel is the brain of the fire alarm system, receiving information from the fire alarm system and taking action accordingly.
If an emergency is established, such as a fire, the fire panel may produce an audible and visible alarm throughout the building to warn of a fire.
In the case it was a false alarm, the fire panel can withhold this warning from being broadcast throughout your workplace, in turn reducing the number of false alarms sent to the emergency services.
So how exactly do fire panels reduce the number of calls to the fire brigade and how can building managers work to reduce false alarms?
Fire Panels Delay Nuisance Alarms
In New South Wales alone, Fire and Rescue NSW responded to approximately 48,000 alerts from automatic fire alarm systems in 2015, with 97% of the alarms being false or unwanted.
In occupied buildings where there is a trained fire warden, it may be possible to activate a delay in your fire panel, which allows for manual investigation of the cause. This means that the pesky burnt toast or steam cleaning of carpets can be noted as the fire alarm activator and the fire warden can turn off the alarm before emergency services are engaged.
In the case that there is a fire, the fire warden can return to the fire panel and cancel the delay, alerting emergency services and setting off the alarm system throughout the building.
At times where the building is unoccupied, these delays can be turned off, ensuring that any emergency is attended to as soon as possible by emergency services, rather than relying on a fire warden to check the building first.
TIP: Know Where Smoke Alarms are Positioned
This might seem like a no brainer, but it isn’t a great idea to have a smoke alarm in a kitchen or bathroom area where ventilation is poor or insufficient.
Reduce the number of false alarms by having your smoke alarms professionally fitted by a qualified, professional company, like Fire Safe ANZ, who can determine the best positions for your smoke detectors.
Alert Occupants without Alerting Emergency Services
Fire panels can produce a number of different warning signals to alert building occupants of a potential threat.
The fire panel can set off an initial warning sound to alert building occupants to stand by for further instructions.
This initial warning is enough to alert fire wardens of a potential threat, allowing them to investigate the cause of the alarm and escalate the warning to an evacuation tone if required.
Much like the delay feature of the fire panel, this initial alarm ensures that an emergency isn’t falsely declared before someone has had a chance to investigate.
Fire Indicator Panels from Fire Safe ANZ
False alarms that result in a call out from fire and emergency services also come with a hefty bill, so it is in your best interest to avoid them at all costs.
Fire Safe ANZ can install, test and maintain fire panels that meet Australian Standards and are customised to the intricacies of your workplace.
Since 2002, Fire Safe ANZ has been committed to providing fire protection services, safety and training to happy clients across Australia and New Zealand.
Contact Fire Safe ANZ today to bring your fire panel up to standard and find peace of mind knowing that you are in safe hands with Fire Safe ANZ.