Most Common Fire Alarm System Problems

Avoid these issues so your system will work properly.

  • Improper placement of detectors or improper selection of detectors (e.g. Putting smoke detectors by locker rooms when heat detectors would be more appropriate)
  • Not enough detectors installed (sometimes missing in air handlers)
  • Improper programming of panels (the panel might have been properly programmed when first installed, but when the building layout changed, the panel wasn’t reprogrammed to adjust to the changes)
  • Audibility and intelligibility of voice evacuation system
  • Incorrect placement of audible and visual notification devices
  • Lack of system maintenance (e.g. dirty detectors, dead batteries)
  • Lack of zoning or incorrect zoning
  • Lack of electromagnetic door holders (this leads to building occupants propping doors open)

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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