Alarms may be hard wired or battery operated, and may be interconnected so that if one detector is triggered, all interconnected alarms sound.
The most common causes of false alarms are:
Multi-sensor alarms (or multi-criteria alarms) detect more than one fire phenomena, for example optical and heat detection. They may also include other detection capabilities, such as carbon monoxide detection.
Research by BRE, published in 2014, suggested that replacement of existing detectors in Kings College London with intelligent multi-sensor detectors could reduce false alarms by 69%, and that in the general building stock, the increased use of multi-sensor detectors may avert false alarms from common causes such as cooking fumes, steam and so on. Ref The causes of false fire alarms in buildings.
Intelligent multi-sensor alarms are independently addressed and continuously monitored to verify correct operation. They may also have adjustable sensitivity settings and drift compensation to account for environmental conditions. This can help identify when an alarm is genuine, as opposed to resulting from a maintenance issue or incorrect setting.
For more information See BS 5839-6:2013 Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings - Code of practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire detection and fire alarm systems in domestic premises.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Building regulations.
- Carbon monoxide detector.
- Combustion appliance.
- Fire and rescue service.
- Fire dampers.
- Fire detection and alarm system.
- Fire protection engineering.
- Fire safety design.
- Heat alarm.
- Intelligent building management systems IBMS.
- Intruder alarm.
- Ionisation smoke alarms.
- Optical smoke alarm
- Principal habitable room.
- Scottish building standards.
- Smoke detector.
- The causes of false fire alarms in buildings.
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