NFPA's codes and standards make sure fire alarm signals are distinct, but how familiar are building occupants with those sounds?
That question was addressed during an education session at NFPA's Conference & Expo, where researcher Majed Almejmaj with Worcester Polytechnic Institute discussed results from an online survey to determine the general public's familiarity with specific fire alarm signals.
More than 500 survey participants addressed three areas: previous fire alarm experience, previous fire incident experience, and fire alarm recognition and urgency. Almejmaj noted that the percentage of occupants identifying and recognizing a specific signal, a Temporal-Three fire alarm covered in the codes, has increased in recent years.
Additional research can shine a brighter light on this important topic, added Almejmaj. "We want to collect additional data for various occupancies, using the same set of questions," said Almejmaj. "We’re hoping to apply that to different cultures."