Safety Technology International unveils solutions to prevent false alarms

False alarmsSafety Technology International supplies a range of protective covers, from integral covers to sounder models, specifically designed to prevent false alarms

Experts have frequently warned of a ‘cry wolf’ attitude towards fire alarms in the UAE, and with one out of three GCC residents who ignore fire alarms coming from the UAE, is the country suffering from alarm fatigue?

A false alarm causes inconvenient evacuations; affecting routine, costing businesses valuable time and money and reducing the confidence the general public have in fire alarms.

A prevalent cause of false fire alarm is the accidental activation of a manual call point, often placed in vulnerable locations where it is easy for sensitive ‘break glass’ units to be knocked or struck activating an unwelcome fire alarm.

It is not uncommon for public buildings across the UAE to be evacuated because of a false alarm. After an incident at the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Police reported: “Dubai Police would like to clarify that a person mistakenly set off the fire alarm at the Mall after he had broken the emergency button fixed on a wall inside the mall.”

Alarm fatigue occurs when a person becomes desensitised to an alarm, such as a fire alarm, due to repeated false alarms and therefore they fail to react appropriately in an emergency.

Incidents like the evacuation at the Dubai Mall undermines the public’s trust in fire alarms, causing alarm fatigue, and allowing complacency to creep in – contributing to a drastic reduction in response time and evacuation, quite literally ‘playing with fire.’

Fires at the Marina Torch in Dubai Marina demonstrate the potentially fatal effects of alarm fatigue; engulfed by flames twice in two years, on both occasions residents believed the signal that was there to protect them was a false alarm.

As recommended in BS 5839-1:2017 manual call points can be fitted with a protective cover to prevent false fire alarms, and halt alarm fatigue. According to the British Standard Institute recommends in section 20.2b, “All MCPs should be fitted with a protective cover, which is moved the gain access to the frangible elements.”

A British Standard with global reach, BS 5839-1 has been used on high profile construction projects across the Middle East and Asia including; Dubai, New Delhi, India, and Hong Kong – the Standard recognises that false alarms can seriously prejudice the safety of occupants by reducing their trust in fire alarms.

For more information, please visit www.sti-emea.com/pcategories/call-point-protectors

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

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