False fire alarm callouts
10 June 2020
No one likes to be woken in the middle of the night after a long shift. False alarm callouts are a headache and waste of resource for all involved. They can also be costly if your monitoring company sends a guard out.
There are a few things that you can do to keep these at a minimum.
- Check the power that is going to both the main alarm unit and the sensors. Make sure its wired into a good power source – no dodgy multiboxes with fridges and coffee grinders hanging off the same plugs. Most alarm units also include a backup battery – ensure those batteries are changed regularly (usually annually or every two years). Your alarm sensors may be battery powered (usually a 9v square battery), and it’s a good idea to change these regularly also.
- A fly or a spider crawling across the alarm sensor is often enough to set the alarm off. We recommend spraying some fly/insect surface spray around the outside of the sensor – do not spray direct on the alarm sensor, but instead make a circle approx 10cm around the outside of the sensor to create a barrier that creatures will avoid walking across.
- Make sure everything that blows air is turned off. Air conditioning units, open windows, and heaters are common sources of alarm callouts, especially when combined with things hanging from the ceiling. Signs, or balloons after parties can often trigger alarms with only a slight breeze or temperature change – ensure these are taken down after the function to avoid those middle of the night callouts.
- Not a problem for most clubs, but if you have an animal like a cat that likes to hang around, ensure that they aren’t locked in at the end of the night.
- Fire & Emergency attend more than 20,000 false fire alarm callouts every year, so double check that everything is turned off in your kitchens before leaving for the night.