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Common Causes of False Alarm and How to Prevent Them

Fire is a serious matter, and it is very important that the false alarm can be reduced. On average, about 10% to 33% of the cases of fire reporting are false alarm. These false alarm end up draining public resources and it is the taxpayers that end up footing the bill.


To combat the false fire alarm, fire departments around the world have designed standard operational procedure that ensures the incident is a confirmed fire before fire. In case of attending to false alarm, the fire department may charge a hefty fee for their service.


Of most incidents, we can categorize fire alarms into the following categories: accidental, system malfunction and malicious.


For accidental cases, some of the most common causes are smoke from burnt food, steam, aerosol spray, dust accumulation or even tiny insects lodged inside detectors.


Malfunctions occur from time to time due to lack of maintenance or overextending the lifetime use of the device. Faults could also be triggered from water leaks or incorrect placement or wiring of devices in the system.


Lastly, malicious false alarms that are often triggered most commonly in schools where school kids or teenagers may pull/press call stations for fun.


Fortunately, for all of the above causes, preventative measures could be taken to reduce the occurrence of false alarm. For instance, plastic cover or glass cover could be placed over manual call points to prevent accidental activation and malicious activities respectively. Periodic checkup and maintenance could also be conducted to ensure everything is working in accordance to regulation and functioning properly. One could also consider utilizing addressable fire alarm system with 2-stage alarm that allows for checking if it is a false alarm or not.