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What's going on with unwanted alarms?

Question asked by martyahrens Employee on Oct 14, 2015
Latest reply on Nov 23, 2016 by kevin5800

NFPA recently received an inquiry about how a fire department might reduce false alarms.  This has been an issue for a number of years.  After the NFPA and IAFC sponsored the  Fire Alarm Response and Management Summit   in 2011, the two organizations worked together to produce the free Fire Service Guide to Reducing Unwanted Fire Alarms – You can get a copy here.


A few years ago, the Fire Protection Research Foundation looked at the topic of unwanted alarms and helping fire departments determine their response protocols to commercial automatic fire alarms.  Check out the reports here.


Monica Colby of Rapid City Fire Department has noted that many calls to their fire department were alarm activations that required an immediate occupant response.  However, the situation was resolved by the time the fire service arrived.  (Many “food on stove” type calls were in this group.)


Someone from another fire department noted they had some success with a campaign instructing apartment dwellers to open the window rather than the door to a common hallway after their apartment smoke alarm activated in response to burned food.  When smoke from burned food enters a common area with system-wide detection, it often causes the building’s fire alarm system to activate, resulting in a fire department response. 


What's your experience like?