Phoenix Pacific

Four Tips for Preventing False Fire Alarms


Across the country there are millions of false alarms every year.  These false alarms cost communities time and money in some fashion.  Fire departments roll trucks and commit resources when they shouldn’t, which has caused government agencies to fine building owners for false alarms.  Building occupants can also develop “cry wolf syndrome” that can put occupants in serious danger if a call to evacuate is ignored.  False alarms are a problem that we continue to combat in communities of all sizes.  Yet, there are things we can do to minimize false fire alarms. Here are four tips on how to do that.  

How to Avoid False Fire Alarms

1. Install Surge Protectors

Power grid fluctuations can damage the fire alarm system and its electrical devices, triggering false alarms. Risks are higher if you’re located in an area prone to lightning strikes. A surge protector is a great shield against the jolt before it reaches the control panel, so the impact is less intense on the system. Ask your service provider if surge protectors are installed and have them installed if they’re not.

2. Weatherproof Troubled Areas

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Environmental factors, such as rain, overexposure to sunlight, and dust build up can set off false alarms. Rain and humidity can cause water to seep into wiring, causing shorts.  Sunlight accelerates degradation, causing plastic devices to become brittle and fragile.  Dust accumulation near detectors eventually gets into detectors and causes an activation.  Those who weatherproof exposed devices against these elements have successfully reduced their false alarms. You can remove dust build-up around detectors; ensure there is enough ventilation around detectors; water-seal around devices exposed to moisture; and replace degraded devices before they cause a problem.

3. Add Tamper Prevention Devices

Install tamper prevention devices on pull stations that have a higher chance of being vandalized or tampered with. Also, place security cameras near trouble spots as they serve as another deterrent, signaling to individuals that the premises are being monitored.

 4. Get Regular Preventive Maintenance

Get proactive and make sure your fire alarm service provider includes preventive maintenance procedures in their services.  Some procedures might include testing and calibrating sensors, checking batteries, cleaning detectors from dust, and identifying potential deficiencies before they get worse.

With over 45 years of experience in the fire protection industry working with businesses, schools, military installations, and government agencies across Hawaii, Guam, and the Pacific Islands, Phoenix Pacific has the expertise to intelligently service and maintain for fire alarm systems, reducing the chance of false alarms. Call (808) 682-1000 or visit them online to learn more about their services.