Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Large Salad Bowl caused the False fire Alarm?

Well when it comes down to tracking down strange things causing false fire alarms
I have seen it all over the years.

Take the Grade school in the North Hills of Pittsburgh I took care of before coming down with cancer.
Seems like every Thursday during lunch they had a false alarm .
The problem was every time I got there everything was just fine with the system. It had been reset and no way to track down what tripped unlike newer systems. Ok time to put on the detectives cap as the fire Marshal was getting upset and I had no answers .
Which then got me to tracking down where and what time the alarms where coming in.
well it was always the cafeteria area. But why?
I talked with the head of the cafeteria and asked her what they did different on Thursdays during that time period. Well it turns out every 2 weeks on Thursday they set up a buffet line for the kids with big salad bowl etc. the kids just loved it.
Then I asked Ok we have to be dealing with some kind of heat or cold problem setting the system off because there's only heat detectors in this area which should be 185 fixed temp.
so I was wondering do I have a faulty one?
So I asked them to show me where they set everything up and yep you guessed it there was a large salad bowl with ice set up right under a heat detector. So I got out a ladder and checked it and sure enough it was the wrong one it was a 135 degree rate of rise not fixed unit. So every time they pulled the bowl of ice away from under the heat a flash of heat from the kitchen would set it off and by time I got there it had reset.
With this knowledge I checked them all and found 3 which needed changed to fixed detectors and there where no further false alarms at lunch.
the Fire marshal had a good laugh and the case was solved.

this all was completely avoidable had the proper heat detector been installed as the plans called for 185 fixed not rate of rise.
again lazy ass installers who could care less and bosses who just want the damn job done.
putting volunteer firefighters lives at risk every time they responded.

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