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Hotel Evacuation

Paul B

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Hi All

Would it be reasonable for a hotel to silence their fire alarm panel whilst they investigate for a fire to avoid waking residents in the case of a false alarm?

At the moment the sounder goes off, they silence it then if a real evacuation is needed they set the sounder off again.

In my opinion this would cause confusion and raise doubt with the residents of the validity of any alarm sounding in the future.


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Most fire alarm panels can have a delay on all sounders operating, to avoid evacuating when there is a false alarm from a smoke detector, obviously someone must check where the alarm was activated. (Call points and heat detectors are usually not delayed)

In general, guests do not stay long in hotels, what are the chances of two false alarms?

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0No - it's valid to want to avoid false alarm activations, but technology is such (& has been for some time) that fire alarm systems can have an investigation period with only a local alarm on a smoke detector activating, with the failsafes of a timer which will sound all alarms if the system isn't silenced after a set time, or if a second detector activates or if a call point activates. 

Just silencing and relying on a human is risky and depending on system type and configuration can stop other detectors and call points on the zone being investigated from being able to activate the alarm. Deaths and prosecutions have resulted from premature silencing of systems.

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