Fire alarm systems are commonly plagued by several issues including false alarms, that is why the Fire Safety Act of Singapore has a guideline that includes regular inspection and maintenance of the fire protection system. These checks and repairs are divided into daily, weekly, monthly, and annual inspections that are the primary responsibility of both the building owner or management and the fire protection system provider.
Daily inspections are the responsibility of the building security and safety staff, that is why they should be familiar with the common issues of the fire protection system and their solutions.
1. Venting. The building’s vents can affect the power source or rechargeable batteries of the fire alarm systems, that is why the building is sometimes required to have free air vents to discourage gas buildup.
2. Temperature. Some parts of the fire protection system will work within a required temperature range, that is why if the building has frequent false alarms, it might be a good idea to check the recommended operating parameters for the fire alarm systems.
3. Construction Material. Solving issues with the incompatibility of the fire protection system with the building materials can be expensive, but these can be avoided by making sure that the area is clean and free from water or moisture and corrosive materials. Fire protection system in Singapore units should not be placed in areas where it will be prone to the elements.
4. Accessibility. The location and the design of the panels should enable easy access to the staff because time matters when it comes to emergencies.
5. Power. The source of power in the building should not result in power dips and must be grounded. The fire protection system can be easily disrupted by inconsistencies in the power flow, grounding, and other natural phenomena.
6. Control Panel. This part of the fire alarm systems should be able to pinpoint the location of the source of the alarm, that is why regular inspection should be done to ensure that there are no errors.
7. Connections. The connections between the structures in the fire protection system should be protected from natural phenomena and power dips or sags. Damage to the cables can cause problems throughout the system.
8. Alarms and Signals. The placement of the alarms and signals should be according to the recommendations of the fire safety code and the design of the building. There should also be emergency override systems in designated places in case an alarm is triggered.
9. Detection. Most fire detectors used in the fire protection system are designed to detect smoke and heat, but there can be problems when distinguishing the signals especially from cookfires. The fire alarm systems provider should be able to give various options for buildings that process industrial materials and flammable items.
10. Extinguishing. Like the detectors and alarms, the extinguishing equipment should be placed at areas according to the fire safety code in Singapore and the building design. Occupants should be able to access them without having to run around the building.