Divergent data collection methodologies hampering European efforts to reduce false alarms, says Euralarm

Fire detection A lack of coordination between fire services and others involved in the analysis of fire alarm data is hampering efforts to reduce false alarms across Europe, a forthcoming study will conclude. Euralarm has reviewed how fire services in Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Sweden and Austria collect and analyse data generated by responses to fire alarms. Noting sharp differences in methodologies, a study by the European body representing fire system manufacturers across Europe has called for greater collaboration between stakeholders in their efforts to reduce false alarms.

False alarms can be reduced with the deployment of modern multi-sensor fire detectors and regular, appropriate maintenance of fire detection systems. However, a dearth of data into false alarms is hampering efforts to address a problem that costs the UK in excess of 1bn a year. A study conducted by Euralarm in 2012 showed that data sources were missing or too divergent to draw meaningful comparisons. The association says that reliable details, like data pools, on the range of false alarm causes are needed to define and deploy effective countermeasures. Conducted by the Euralarm Task Group False Alarm in Germany, Great Britain (England), Switzerland, Sweden and Austria (Vorlarberg), the project s objective has been to calculate false alarm ratios based on four different models. The study concluded that comparison of fire alarm data in the respective countries is hampered by a lack of common terminology and processes. Application guidelines are national and therefore data is collected and handled quite differently from country to country. Narrow or wrong measures are being implemented as a result, says Euralarm. A common approach is perfectly feasible, the association believes, if the fire safety industry, fire services and building owners resolve to cooperate more closely.

The report will be published in autumn 2017. Euralarm represents the electronic fire and security industry across Europe. Founded in 1970, the association represents more than 5,000 companies within the fire safety and security industry.

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