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Mitigating nuisance alarms in Emergency Alarm System

Mitigating nuisance alarms in Emergency Alarm System

(OP)
Hello,

We've installed a Chubb Edwards Emergency Alarm System in a 9-unit, seniors, multi-unit, residential building. The building as per code does not require a dedicated fire alarm system, but we wanted to monitor any emergency conditions within the building, so we installed an Emergency Alarm System where one (1), monitored, smoke detector was installed in each apartment unit in addition to code required smoke alarms. The building does not have common hallway/corridor between units i.e. each apartment has dedicated entry/exit, so we could not install monitored, smoke detectors in the corridors and instead installed them in the apartment unit. The issue we face is nuisance alarms at times due to minor cooking related incident, burnt toast, candles, etc. where the monitored, smoke detector is trigerred and an off-site, monitoring company sends the local fire authority for non-emergency conditions.

I wanted to inquire, there are any industry best practices that could be employed here to mitigate these nuisance alarms. Following are few ideas which I could come up with, but would appreciate your input and other relevant strategies to reduce such alarms:

1. Replace the monitored, smoke detectors with fire/heat detectors.
2. Introduce a delay in the Emergency Alarm System, so that alarm signals from the monitored, smoke detectors will be sent to the off-site monitoring company after an acceptable delay to ensure that it is an emergency and not nuisance.

Thank you.

RE: Mitigating nuisance alarms in Emergency Alarm System

I think that you are treading on a slippery slope with the second option, as any actual fire might result in death or injury, and the acceptable delay" would become the subject of a lawsuit. The difference between a false alarm and an actual fire might be quite small, which is why smoke detectors are thresholded on the safe side.

I would think that any path forward would involve looking at the previous false alarms and the monitoring company itself. Are there obvious patterns to the false alarms, are they isolated to certain units, etc.? Why can't the monitoring company call the unit before alerting the fire department, etc.? I also strongly suggest that you find a consultant who is well-versed in the fire code and fire liability for your locale before making any changes.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Mitigating nuisance alarms in Emergency Alarm System

(OP)
Thank you for your insight on this issue.

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