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  #1  
Old 03-10-2013, 01:53 PM
canadianized canadianized is offline
 
Posts: 55
Default Opinions on false alarms due to fire alarm/sprinkler testing

So far I've had the fire department show up twice in a year.

One was in a very old building (50+ years), with a type 1 system (no fire alarm panel) and the maintenance told me there was no monitoring. Checked everything and it looked OK, sprinkler fitter put in a flow switch and the fire department shows up a couple minutes later. Turns out there was a really old dialer. Maintenance guy said he didn't think there was so not a big deal was made of this situation. Hefty bill going to that building as 3 trucks showed up lol.

Second time I was doing a church interconnected with another building. I went into the hall that separated the church and the other building (other building was locked, church doors held open so I assumed it was part of the church's system), pulled the pull station and boom, the next building went into alarm. It was a senior home so luckily no one got a heat attack or anything (y) Fire trucks showed up again and that was my fault

I personally feel annoyed FOR the FFs that have to rush and show up then they see multiple cars with the company name on it at the front of the building, but how annoyed are you really? What is the level of hate for these inspection companies?
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  #2  
Old 03-10-2013, 05:06 PM
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splashover splashover is offline
 
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personally you get a pass from me. It means that much needed maintenance is actually happening. Plus, its not like the calls are coming in the middle of the night. Of coarse there is the strain on the resources and the added apathy of alarm bell calls so don't treat it like it shouldn't be avoided.
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  #3  
Old 03-11-2013, 02:51 PM
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HalifaxHooligan HalifaxHooligan is offline
 
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Just twice so far this year? At two different locations?

Don't lose sleep over that. You're fine.

I've been to multiple calls from the same building - on the same day - after being warned not to repeat the process that generated the first call.

Here's a tip for you though:

If you are doing ANY kind of maintenance or testing though, my only suggestion to you is to CALL THE ALARM COMPANY AND NOTIFY THEM FIRST!

It depends on the alarm company as to what will happen next.

Some companies will ask you to estimate the time you'll be working (ie: 1300H - 1400H), so if an alarm is tripped during that time period, they'll hold off on dispatching the FD. If an alarm comes in at 1403H though, they will likely dispatch the FD.

Other companies will request that you call them upon the completion of the work.

False alarms are a part of the deal though, so most firefighters aren't irritated by them...but like anything, it's possible that you may encounter a cranky Captain/Lieutenant.
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  #4  
Old 03-11-2013, 08:49 PM
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3rdGen 3rdGen is offline
 
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contractors in our area usually call our hall and our dispatch to inform them they are doing work; they call when they are done. If dispatch gets a call they call the contractor before dispatching.
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  #5  
Old 04-14-2013, 07:42 PM
DonaldRimgale DonaldRimgale is offline
 
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I wouldn't worry buddy, I'm a fire alarm tech and do major inspections like downtown Toronto hospitals where they cant bypass the entire place so I only bypass one ward at a time and you can easily pass into another ward without being aware and next thing you know you pull a manual station and horns and strobes are going. Never had it happen thank god but accidents do happen, that's why pencils have erasers. Just call monitoring and the local FD to cover your bases and call back at the end of the day to re enable the monitoring.

P.S. Never disconnect the monitoring wires I heard of a guy that forgot to put them back at the end of the day and the facility actually had an alarm that night that didn't go through and he got the boot, lucky for him it was not an actual fire.
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  #6  
Old 04-15-2013, 10:10 AM
bloggins bloggins is offline
 
Posts: 106
Thumbs up

You buy a lot of tolerance because the systems you are responsible will work when there are emergencies. Sure, maybe a few false alarms make you feel a bit awkward when the boys roll in- but you're in there working on a system that makes our jobs a lot easier and safer in the long run so you get a couple freebies.
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  #7  
Old 04-18-2013, 02:03 PM
canadianized canadianized is offline
 
Posts: 55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonaldRimgale View Post
I wouldn't worry buddy, I'm a fire alarm tech and do major inspections like downtown Toronto hospitals where they cant bypass the entire place so I only bypass one ward at a time and you can easily pass into another ward without being aware and next thing you know you pull a manual station and horns and strobes are going. Never had it happen thank god but accidents do happen, that's why pencils have erasers. Just call monitoring and the local FD to cover your bases and call back at the end of the day to re enable the monitoring.

P.S. Never disconnect the monitoring wires I heard of a guy that forgot to put them back at the end of the day and the facility actually had an alarm that night that didn't go through and he got the boot, lucky for him it was not an actual fire.
I know what you mean with those huge buildings, I do inspections for some oil sand camps north of Fort McMurray where thousands of people live in, and we're only allowed to disable a couple wings at a time. Sometimes its a guessing game when it comes to which device belonging to which panel as each section has its own panel down there (Example: random corridor, kitchen/lobby area, laundry area, rec area etc...) Sometimes I pull the device and hope no alarms go off lol.

Really? We always disconnect monitoring here as a lot of customers absolutely HATE the high trouble screeching sound when we are there. Never had an issue with it nor have I heard of it. Maybe its different here in Alberta
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  #8  
Old 04-28-2013, 08:34 PM
DonaldRimgale DonaldRimgale is offline
 
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Sorry I should have specified. Its necessary to disable the monitoring horn if there is one (sometimes there will be a horn connected to the security system) but disconnecting the the terminals that send the signals to the monitoring company could put you in a bad situation as they are not always supervised and will not give a trouble to the panel when popped out. Therefore when your packing up for the day you'll see system normal but you still have the monitoring terminal block out. Man I need to get on soon soooooo sick of fire alarms lol
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  #9  
Old 04-29-2013, 08:19 AM
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HookandLadder HookandLadder is offline
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From what I have seen...any contractors should be calling the fire department first whether it is monitered internally by the municipal fire department or with an external monitoring agency to let them know that contractors are working on some part of the system (or even around the system for plumbing or soldering maintenance etc). We will even have the monitering agancies calling the FD sometimes to give us the heads up to let us know that their clients are on testing, just in case someone from the building calls us via 911 when they hear the tones go off and are unaware of what is occuring in their own building.

If an alarm system is being worked on or is set off by a maintenance worker working around the system, we tell the building to contact us right away when the building tones go off if it is an actual false alarm due to the work created..and if we dont hear from them or are not able to verify with the building if the alarm was due to that work or not.. within a matter of seconds then we will roll with the trucks to investigate as if it was an actual automatic alarm condition.

It's all about communication to the FD prior to the work being done from the building owner or contractor... and saves a lot of hassle for us when responding with lights and sirens to systems that unfortunately might be in maintenance and test.
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  #10  
Old 04-30-2013, 03:34 AM
austin34 austin34 is offline
 
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The fire alarm is very important for any building that is twnty four hour needed and necessary.
The testing of alarm should be perform at workshop for its proper maintenance and working.
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