Monitoring Fire Alarm Systems
The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) have introduced standards to combat a rising incidence of false alarms on RMFAs. These false alarms are a drain on Fire Authorities’ finances and resources and the CFOA have identified that they are caused, in part, from inferior installation and maintenance. The standards minimise the likelihood of false alarms.
The impact of false alarms, of course, is not limited to the FRS; the cost to businesses also significant in terms of disruption to production and loss of time.
In line with the CFOA recommendations, an increasing number of Fire Authorities (Hampshire and Dorset included) require an RMFA to have a Unique Reference Number (URN) by which an individual protected premises is uniquely recognised before they will respond to an RMFA activation.
These URNs are issued by the FRS and a prerequisite is that the system must have been designed, installed, commissioned and serviced by a third party accredited company.
CFOA has been calling for all new monitored systems to have a URN, but it is expected that within the next few years they will require this to be enforced retrospectively to all fire alarm systems.
With URN systems the site is called first for three minutes to attempt to contact site to confirm if signal is genuine or false, if no reply from site the fire brigade is alerted as a non-confirmed fire.
Existing RMFAs can be retrospectively third party certificated but this is likely to prove costly because the system needs to be taken apart to inspect every detail, from basic design to the cabling and installation to ensure that it complies fully with the relevant Standards.
Follow this link to view the CFOA Protocol for the reduction of false alarms and unwanted signals – Sept 2010
Follow this link for the full Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Follow this link for A Short Guide to Making Your Premises Safe From Fire.Arrange a security site survey
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