Controlling False Fire Alarms in Care Homes with AlarmCalm
False and unwanted fire alarms are one of the big issues in fire safety and building management today.
The care home and social care industry in particular has unique needs when it comes to false alarm management (FAM). To meet these needs, fire industry leader Advanced has released a new document that shows the potential of automatic fire systems to help reduce unwanted alarms in these settings.
The document outlines the features of Advanced’s AlarmCalm FAM upgrade and its key components, as well as providing an overview of the areas within care homes where different false alarm strategies may be required, based on risk, building design and resident needs.
AlarmCalm is a total package and features enhanced firmware, comprehensive configuration software for Advanced’s fire systems and new intelligent alarm acknowledgement devices called AlarmCalm Buttons. It provides total, easily-managed control over alarm verification periods and investigation delays to outputs.
It allows a site to be divided into false alarm management zones called building areas (up to 200 per panel or 40,000 per network). These are virtual areas used for FAM programming that by default match fire zones but can be set independently to cover multiple zones and points or individual points. The use of building areas makes even complicated cause-and-effect easy to set up.
There is growing awareness of the role that care home staff can play in helping to reduce unwanted false alarms. Advanced’s intelligent, loop-powered alarm acknowledgement device, the AlarmCalm Button, can be used to manually verify if an alarm signal is false, for example from smoke as a result of cooking or heat in the kitchen.
By pressing the AlarmCalm Button, a staff member initiates a ‘second stage’ verification time and (optionally), the local sounder can be silenced. If after the second stage time the signal has cleared, the system will reset to normal conditions. If the signal in the detector is still present, a full fire condition will be signalled. During the second stage period, a fire condition is also indicated if the alarm is confirmed by another method such as sensitivity change or second detector. AlarmCalm Buttons can only extend verification time once (before a system reset). If a real fire ensues, a full fire condition will be signalled.
Advanced believes AlarmCalm is the most easily installed and configured FAM system available. AlarmCalm Buttons are easy to install on the loop and recognised in the panel software on auto learn. They are compatible with a standard UK single-gang back box, can be flush or surface mounted and include a configurable LED, buzzer and slide-in label.
Sounders, beacons and relays in each building area can be operated during the verification period and can be quickly set by all devices of each type or individually by point. Sounder ringing styles are also fully configurable and can use a different tone during verification and alarm periods.
The same approach in the software is taken with investigation delays to outputs, meaning a full FAM strategy can be easily set up and configured. AlarmCalm is currently available on Advanced’s EN54 2, 4 & 13 approved MxPro 5 and Axis EN fire systems.
For more information, go to www.advancedco.com