Top Causes of Fire Alarm Malfunctions

smoke detectorFire alarms are an essential feature in any facility. While these systems are meant to save your property from the wrath of accidental fires, they could fail at some point. Having a faulty alarm system can put your facility and its occupants in danger. Some causes of fire systems are beyond your control. The best thing that you can do is to look for possible causes of this problem. And if you can enlist NYC Fire Watch Services, the better. That said, here are some common causes of alarm system failures.

Contractor Mistakes

Contractors working on fire systems, whether during installation or routine maintenance, may inadvertently damage the fire system. For instance, a common mistake observed among contractors is accidental wire cuts, which often leave some sections of the facility unprotected. Also, not protecting the system from a power surge leaves the fire systems vulnerable to a power surge. A damaged motherboard means that the fire alarm will not be activated even if there is a fire.


Vandalism is a common cause of fire system failure. Schools, prisons, and public facilities are good examples of some facilities that are vulnerable to high rates of vandalism. Vandals can cut wires or damage the circuitry of the alarm system, thus causing fire alarm system failure. As such, any act of vandalism that interferes with the system signal transmission or notifications features will undoubtedly leave you susceptible to an accidental fire.


Negligence is a leading cause of fire system failures in many facilities. Failures caused by negligence are common to facilities that do not have a comprehensive fire alarm inspection routine. Unfortunately, this does not mean that regularly serviced systems are safe from failure. To avoid system failure, facility managers should endeavor to act on deficiencies outlined in the service report.

Natural Catastrophes

Acts of God can also cause fire alarm system failures. Heavy rains and stormy weather, for instance, often subject the fire alarm to some risk of damage, just like other parts of the facility. If there is a leak in the fire alarm system, it could short out the panel. This means that the alarm system will not be activated if there is a fire emergency.

The last thing any facility owner expects is a fire that goes undetected. Overall, it is imperative to ensure that you work towards mitigating any of these top causes of fire alarm system failure.