Accidentally setting off a fire alarm system is more common than you think. It’s a dangerous occurrence that can be a nuisance for the building owner. It can also tie up the fire department and desensitize people to fire alarms.

How are fire alarms systems activated when there’s no fire?

Fire alarm systems can be manually set off when there’s no fire emergency. This can be an intentional or unintentional act.

One way to manually activate a fire alarm system is to pull the pull stations. Pull stations can be accidentally pulled by people falling or catching themselves on a pull station. Even backpack straps can activate pull stations. People can also intentionally pull them.

A second way to trigger a fire alarm system is via the smoke detectors. Cooking, aerosol spray, air fresheners, and dust in a smoke detector can trigger a fire alarm.

It is also possible to break a sprinkler head or open a sprinkler valve to start the flow of water through the system. Though this possibility is less likely.

What happens if a fire alarm system is accidentally triggered?

Alarm systems sound three different alarm types: trouble, supervisory, and fire alarm. The only one that gets to the fire department is the fire alarm. The alarm monitoring company calls the building owner first. The company will assume an emergency and contact the fire department if they can’t get in touch with the building owner. The property owner is responsible for the fire department dispatch.

Contact your fire protection company to investigate the cause of the false alarm (if unknown). The technician will reset the system along with the fire alarm panel.

Preventing false alarms

Building owners can take steps to prevent fire alarm system false alarms. Some of these steps include:

  • Keep smoke detectors free of dust and debris
  • Move appliances away from smoke detectors
  • Educate building occupants on location of smoke detectors and sprinkler heads
  • Install protective covers for pull stations

Beyond human intervention, installation issues can cause false alarms. It’s important your fire alarm system is installed by a licensed professional to avoid issues.

How often should fire alarm systems be inspected?

It’s a requirement that fire alarm systems are inspected and tested annually. Annual inspections are conducted by a fire protection professional. A technician will conduct functional testing of the system.

The building owner should conduct visual inspections of smoke detectors and pull stations monthly. Contact your fire protection company immediately if anything is missing or broken.

Fire Systems, Inc.

Fire Systems has a team of technicians trained to inspect and service all types of fire alarm systems. Our software system keeps track of when inspections are due. You never have to worry about being delinquent on required inspections.

Fire Systems offers 24-hour emergency service and 24/seven monitoring for your fire alarm system. We even provide training in the proper use and maintenance of your system. Call us today at 770-333-7979 or visit our website for more information.