I QUESTION THE VALIDITY of every verification Acme Fire and Safety Company has performed prior to March 5, 2010 if the supporting documentation was submitted using the same S536 INSPECTION format. The failure to properly document installed devices was still manifest, by the way, in a report they submitted to an owner of another building in Burnaby as recently as September 27th, 2010 (even though it was done using the correct form). You can read more about that HERE.
I'm all for improving the standard of practice. In fact, it is the raison d'Ítre behind this website. I am disgusted and angry at watching so-called professionals sign off on installations that fall far short of the Standards to which they certify they test to, that flaunt their status as Registered Fire Protection Technicians, while flouting a Code of Ethics and Conduct which they've all sworn to uphold. Rogue technicians like this are the bane of our industry and view professional certification as a joke and a means to an end. They should be expunged. When two companies start advocating for imposing limits on what a technician (or qualified person) can and can't do, it strikes me as utterly ridiculous and entirely disingenuous when these same two companies employ the kind of individuals that will continue to wade hip deep in shoddy inspection practices. If my Mom was still alive, she'd tell you to clean your own house before you start commenting on the state of someone else's.
“CAN/ULC-S537-04 Appendix A (Informative) - Qualified Personnel
A1 Any person who performs the verification of a fire alarm system should be familiar with this Standard and have received suitable formal training or sufficient experience acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction.” (Underlined for emphasis.)
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are a building owner or electrical contractor and you happen to harbour any doubts over the services or the inspection/testing a fire protection equipment provider has provided, please contact your local Fire Department's Fire Prevention Office.
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EDITORIAL - Sept. '09
FALSE ALARMS. HOW BAD ARE THEY?
In a recent report filed by the NFPA, it was revealed that fire departments across the USA responded to 2.2 million false alarms in 2009. That translates to 6027 a day, or 251 every hour! What a phenomenal waste of man hours and equipment costs. What's even more frustrating is that most of the false alarms were cooking related (it's speculated where smoke alarms were positioned too close to kitchens).
Toronto has recently adopted what's termed a zero tolerance false alarm policy that have many people responding by simply disconnecting their fire detection systems. This isn't exactly the effect Toronto City Council was aiming for, I'm sure. If we were to take their numbers though, the fine is $350.00 per truck (the average false alarm dispatch involves three so that's $1050.00) and "crunch" them into the 2.2 million figure from the NFPA report you reach a staggering $2,310,000,000.
It would be interesting to see if the various fire departments could document their own community's false alarm statistics to an open, centralized data base so that our industry could perhaps identify specific problems and provide solutions to address the more common causes. My chief concern (not-with-standing the one that involves someone deliberately disconnecting their automatic fire detection systems) relates to the fact that while the trucks are rolling to another false alarm, the response to a real fire emergency could be tragically delayed. In situations where literally seconds count, you want to ensure the resources are available when and where they're needed. I'd like to see a national organization like CFAA promote such an initiative perhaps with the help of one of the bigger manufacturers sponsoring it (Honeywell?? UTC?? Nudge, nudge).
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