Document 15511 10/14/2002 Rev:
15511:H2 ECN 02-436
Fire Alarm System Limitations
While a fire alarm system may lower insurance rates, it is not a substitute for fire insurance!
An automatic fire alarm system—typically made up of smoke detectors, heat detectors, manual pull stations, audible warning devices, and a fire alarm controlwith remote notification capability—can provide early warning of a developing fire. Such a system, however, does not assure protection against property damage or loss of life resulting from a fire. The Manufacturer recommends that smoke and/or heat detectors be located throughout a protected premise following the recommendations of the current edition of the National Fire Protection AssociationStandard 72 (NFPA 72), manufacturer's recommendations, State and local codes, and the recommendations contained in the Guide for Proper Use of System Smoke Detectors, which is made available at no charge to all installing dealers. A study by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (an agency of the United States government) indicated that smoke detectors may not go off in as many as 35% of allfires. While fire alarm systems are designed to provide early warning against fire, they do not guarantee warning or protection against fire. A fire alarm system may not provide timely or adequate warning, or simply may not function, for a variety of reasons: Smoke detectors may not sense fire where smoke cannot reach the detectors such as in chimneys, in or behind walls, on roofs, or on the otherside of closed doors. Smoke detectors also may not sense a fire on another level or floor of a building. A second-floor detector, for example, may not sense a first-floor or basement fire. Particles of combustion or “smoke” from a developing fire may not reach the sensing chambers of smoke detectors because: • • • • Barriers such as closed or partially closed doors, walls, or chimneys may inhibitparticle or smoke flow. Smoke particles may become “cold,” stratify, and not reach the ceiling or upper walls where detectors are located. Smoke particles may be blown away from detectors by air outlets. Smoke particles may be drawn into air returns before reaching the detector. Heat detectors do not sense particles of combustion and alarm only when heat on their sensors increases at a predeterminedrate or reaches a predetermined level. Rate-of-rise heat detectors may be subject to reduced sensitivity over time. For this reason, the rate-of-rise feature of each detector should be tested at least once per year by a qualified fire protection specialist. Heat detectors are designed to protect property, not life. IMPORTANT! Smoke detectors must be installed in the same room as the control paneland in rooms used by the system for the connection of alarm transmission wiring, communications, signaling, and/or power. If detectors are not so located, a developing fire may damage the alarm system, crippling its ability to report a fire. Audible warning devices such as bells may not alert people if these devices are located on the other side of closed or partly open doors or are located onanother floor of a building. Any warning device may fail to alert people with a disability or those who have recently consumed drugs, alcohol or medication. Please note that: • • Strobes can, under certain circumstances, cause seizures in people with conditions such as epilepsy. Studies have shown that certain people, even when they hear a fire alarm signal, do not respond or comprehend the meaningof the signal. It is the property owner's responsibility to conduct fire drills and other training exercise to make people aware of fire alarm signals and instruct them on the proper reaction to alarm signals. In rare instances, the sounding of a warning device can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss.
A fire alarm system will not operate without any electrical power. If AC power...