Don’t Panic! We Can Help!
Fire Alarms are engineered to make a lot of noise. We all recognize the noises Fire Alarms make when they are in Alarm Condition. This is because we have been trained to respond to the loud sirens or voice evacuation orders in school and workplace fire drills. But, it can be confusing when the fire alarm control panel “beeps”. Many people do not realize that this beeping is a much different notification than the sirens or pre-recorded voice commands during Alarm Condition. These “beeps” mean that your fire alarm panel is in either Trouble Condition or Supervisory Condition. Nearly all makes and models of fire alarms make the same annoying beeping noise for both conditions. But, this noise will not carryout throughout your entire building. The sound will be restricted to the Fire Alarm Control Panel and any Remote Annunciators (keypads) on the system.
Why is it Beeping?
A Trouble Condition occurs when the alarm detects a problem with the equipment itself. This could prevent the field devices to fail in the event of an actual fire. Examples of Trouble Conditions are:
- Removed devices
- Cut, broken, or disconnected circuit wires
- Dirty smoke detectors
- Power failures
- Low system batteries
Supervisory Conditions occur when a “supervisory device” goes into alarm on the system. Supervisory devices watch for events which can affect the system operations, but are NOT Fire Alarms that dispatch trucks to your property. Examples of Supervisory devices are:
- Fire Sprinkler Valves that shut off water to the system
- Duct Detectors that measures for smoke in your HVAC system that will close dampers or shut down AC units
- Monitor Modules that report functions of devices such as Fire Pumps
- Outputs from various other systems such as Door Holder Power Supplies
How Do I Stop the Noise?
To stop the tone from occurring manually, you need to follow the procedure for your particular system. Every modern Fire Alarm has buttons that say “Silence”, “Trouble Silence”, and “Acknowledge”. These buttons will work temporarily to silence the tone, but they do not resolve the condition that is causing the tone.
For trouble conditions, someone must identify and correct the condition to stop the tone permanently. Otherwise the beeping will return at least daily, if not more often. There are some trouble conditions such as power failures, where the tone will stop automatically when the condition goes back to normal. If you silence the tone manually, you will know when the problem is fixed because the Trouble display will automatically clear without resetting the Fire Alarm.
For supervisory conditions, someone must restore the condition to normal and you must then perform a System Reset on the panel to clear the condition. If you hit your Fire Alarm Reset button and afterward the tone starts again, then the condition has not been corrected.
Our IFS Service Department is available to assist customers in silencing these tones. We are also always there for conditions which need a technician to be scheduled to come out to your site for troubleshoot or repair.
-The IFS Team