1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default False Alarms in our building


    I couldn't find an email address for our local fire dept here in New Albany, IN so I am asking you all for your help.

    I work for a company that rents a floor in an older building. Over the last two weeks, the fire alarm has triggered and has been a false alarm ( or if someone is smoking, then the building owners are not catching them ).

    Over the last couple of years that we have been here at this building, we have found that the false alarms will come and go for a week or two and then we won't have any more problems for months.

    When the alarm goes off, I will get up and go check out the other floors ( only 3 total ) and see if the other tenants have seen any smoke. At that point, I will come back up to our floor to let everyone know it is a false alarm as usual. Everyone else just assumes it is false and keeps on working.

    This is bringing me to the point... which is the situation that it is no longer a false alarm and the building is on fire and we all assumed it was false as usual.

    Are there any laws about false alarms? If not, should we make it policy that everyone gets up and leaves the building while the alarm is activated? If we all leave, who is really qualified to tell us that there is not a fire and that we should go back into the building and just reset the alarm until maintenance gets to the building? Is going to each floor and each office space and checking for smoke/fire good enough? I want the office to be productive, but of course, I want to live if there really is a fire.

    Do you all have any suggestions as to how I should handle this?

    I love my job, bosses and coworkers.... but I don't want to die working on a computer!

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    New Albany, IN contacts:
    Fire Department-812-948-5314
    Prevention- 812-948-5312
    Address: 316 E Spring Street
    New Albany, IN 47150

    First off, false alarms happen. BUT I have never seen them occur in the pattern you described. You might want to first give them your address to see if you are actually in their district as opposed to being covered by another department in Floyd County. It sounds like the alarm system gives off a local alarm which is an alarm that doesn't transmit a signal to a monitoring company or the local fire department. Therefore it is up to you guys to call 911. That is why whenever there is a fire alarm system that is not monitored by a supervising station, the manual pull boxes (the little red boxes mounted by exits about 4-5 feet off ground) must have a sign reading: WHEN ALARM SOUNDS- CALL FIRE DEPARTMENT. The same action should be taken regardless of whether its a smoke detector or pull station that is in alarm. The fire department is only qualified to tell you that there is not a fire. I don't know about any laws concerning false alarms, but most departments have something in their ordinances about repeated false alarms.
    Hope this helps!

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