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Investigating Activated Fire Alarms

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  • Investigating Activated Fire Alarms

    Wondering how many FD's go to the F/A Panel and initiate a reset before actually looking for the activated device? I've heard of a few places doing this, and it came up today so I wonder if this is not uncommon?

  • #2
    Read the info and silence it so you can investigate. Don't reset it. Once it has been investigated and documented, the owner can then reset if the problem has been remedied.

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    • #3
      I agree with what you are both saying, and our FD investigates every alarm for cause, by sending someone to the panel to get the location and silence it. We typically spend a bit of time investigating, we very rarely don't come up with a cause, but I was reminded again this morning that this isn't how all FD's operate.

      We do reset alarms after the cause has been determined, but always require a responsible party to return the building back over to.

      I know when I was first promoted the crushing weight of investigating an alarm in a 5 story elderly housing building and not finding a cause kept me up most of the night worrying I might have overlooked something. I tell new officers today that if they don't feel the weight of this responsibility they may not be right for the job. While it goes away after a few calls, the first few times should cause a pucker, ensuring you realize how many people are trusting you with their safety. Some officers seem to be pretty quick to call it "unfounded", whereas I hate to use "unfounded" at all. But alas, we're not running from job to job, so...

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      • #4
        We respond in emergent to fire alarms and get off the rig fully bunkered, with tools, ready to go to work. We enter the building and check the enunciator panel and we do NOT silence the alarm until we have checked the area of activation.. We want people to continue to leave the building until we know nothing is wrong. Then we silence the alarm but we leave reset to a building representative, usually maintenance.
        Crazy, but that's how it goes
        Millions of people living as foes
        Maybe it's not too late
        To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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