Avoiding Smoke Detector Activations (Non-fire/non-smoke related)

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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM (LANL)

Published As:  Public


Topics:  Chemical Safety, Emergency Management, Fire Protection, Laboratory

Smoke detectors are very sensitive and can be activated, not only by smoke, but by other sources such as: aerosol cleaners, steam, and dust. Special care and general awareness should be taken and followed while working near smoke detectors. The Los Alamos National Laboratory has experienced at least four unplanned facility evacuations due to unexpected activations of smoke detectors. Each unexpected evacuation/nuisance alarm is costly (in terms of lost time for all personnel involved) and can lead to complacency of facility tenants. This can lead to increased risk when actual events occur.

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