• Brendon Ward
    What's accepted practice regarding the generation of dust in a construction and it setting off smoke detectors?

    I've seen incidents where the affected alarms are disengaged while the dust is being generated.

    I'll be raising the question "why is there so much dust being generated in the first place?" but also want to explore temporary suspension of smoke detectors.
  • Shayla McCormick
    Hi Brendon,
    We have had a couple of incidents on site where dust has set off the emergency alarm.
    1. using a leaf blower to blow out a long hallway in our amenities building.
    2. Painter's hand sanding a wall in the same area
    Neither of these events involved excessive amounts of dust.

    We have been advised that we temporarily impair up to four (by capping off, you can get proper covers) detectors before needing to put in place an official impairment with FENZ/Insurance to complete these works. Obviously, procedures must be in place and followed.
    The install or managing company can also impair the required detectors for you. But I would advise you look into the impairment notice criteria (the company may be able to help you there).

    Hope this helps.
  • Andrew P
    We got sick of false alarms (in the middle of the night) in our cabinet making factory, so we had the smokes changed to smoke beams in half the factory, and then heat wire in the extension. Of course this is something that has to be done by the right people with required consents etc.
  • Muhammad Hafidz
    For small work areas like rooms we use latex glove over the alarm of work area. works best for short duration works which might produce more dust then usual even with extractor fans and other controls.

    Its hanging and visible and just need to pull them off at the end of the day.
  • Rick Smith
    Where I used to work we had smoke alarms set off by boiling jugs, deodorant spray, and by installation of smoke alarm dust covers. Fortunately, modern smoke alarms can be network-addressable. 24 hours' notice to the building maintenance team and the smoke detectors can be temporarily isolated.

    Modern emergency lights can also be computer-controlled to aid compliance testing. The sparky with a computer tablet could activate the lights one by one to verify correct operation.
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