A false alarm by definition is a false report from a fire protection system that informs the local fire department. It is also a warning about something that failed to happen.
A nuisance alarm on the other hand could be a smoke detector that has been alarmed. The alarm, however, is not considered a threatening situation to both life and property. Nuisance alarms can represent up to 90% of alarms that do not require an emergency response.
There are many causes for nuisance and false alarms that facility managers need to be aware of:
• Smoke detectors installed near heating and air conditioning vents, cooking appliances such as cooktops, ovens and fryers
• Heat detectors should have been installed versus a smoke detector
• Whenever filters are changed, the dust that is stirred up can cause an alarm
• Installation of cable, such as common burglar alarm cable instead of power-limited cable for fire alarm systems
• Cable that can that has only enough conductors to maintain basic supervision
• Manual fire pull stations installed outdoors
Owners and Facilities Managers should be reminded that they are responsible for keeping their systems in working condition and tested per local code requirements dictated by the local AHJ (Authorities Having Jurisdiction).
If your fire alarm system is causing frustration over both false alarms and nuisance alarms, we are here to help.