System management

Items to consider to ensure maximum fire protection.

Do not reset your system prior to arrival of the fire service - this is an OFFENCE.

The resetting of the fire alarm system will not prevent the Brigade from responding to the call. It may also influence any decision on charges for false alarms, and will certainly result in increased cost should the charge proceed as the attending fire fighters will need additional time to establish the premises are not at risk from fire.

Only fire service members attending an 'alarm of fire' have the authorisation to deal with the emergency under the Fire & Emergency Act 2004 and the owner or occupier has a duty of care to ensure that firefighters are not hindered in any way in the performance of their statutory duties.  In the past, site managers have incorrectly misread the details on the fire alarm panel and investigated the wrong area.  This is an important public safety issue.

Ensure faults are investigated and quickly fixed.

Should there be a period where the system is not correctly functioning, ensure alternative fire safety measures are instigated.  Actions to consider are included in managing an isolated alarm.

Attending to false alarm system faults in a timely and efficient manner will ensure the installed fire alarm system is in complete readiness in case of emergency.

Undetermined malfunctions - eg. system returns to 'normal' status after alarm activates.

The NTFRS attends many false alarms each year where the automatic fire alarm system returns to a 'normal' status before the Brigade has arrived on scene.  In these situations there is usually no indication on the fire alarm panel of which circuit/zone has activated.

There are a number of reasons why this can occur:

  • a voltage change has occured in the fire alarm panel
  • the wiring in the fire alarm panel could be old or corroded
  • a valve monitor alarm could have dirty contacts
  • a sprinkler pressure switch is not seating correctly
  • there is corrosive wiring on components of a sprinkler system

Each year the NTFRS responds to unwanted false alarms caused by 'undetermined malfunctions' in fire alarm systems.  It is advisable to seek assistance from a fire maintenance company.  This will greatly assist in minimising unwanted false alarms.