Can We Disconnect An External Alarm Siren

♦ Can we disconnect an external alarm siren from a security system and if we do, does this system still conform to the Australian Standard for intruder alarms?

Yes, you can disconnect an external alarm siren, or not install one at all, especially if there are regular alarm events at a site. External alarms can be supplemented by strobes, though these are line of sight signalling devices.

Removing internal alarm sirens is another consideration – these can be extremely loud in enclosed spaces and may stress authorised users into errors, particularly those who are more sensitive to loud noises.

The Australian Standard relating to alarm signals notes: “Some local ordances may not permit audible alarms and others may impose limits on durations or limits on the sound level different from those specified (in the standard)”.

This is essentially an acknowledgement that local rules governing noise pollution take precedence over the stipulations of the standard in relation to the use of audible alarm signaling equipment. Taking this into account any false alarm accompanied by an audible siren that generates a complaint actioned by police could also be considered limited by local ordnance.

More telling is that the standard defines categories of signalling on a scale of performance with Category A involving transmission beyond the client’s premises to professional monitoring stations and remote managers, and Category B involving audible signalling at the client’s premises.

We think that so long as connection to the monitoring station is functional and polled (Category A), then activation of a local siren in accordance with Category B (especially if it occurs after repeated and unresolved nuisance alarms) is a certain breach of local ordnances in metropolitan area, as well as being unnecessary. Even if a siren is installed, it should be set to run for the shortest length of time – even 30 seconds is hard going for those near the device.

Repeated false alarms will garner a visit from the local police, which may lead residents or business owners to stop arming their system and ultimately cancelling their monitoring contract. Large industrial and high security sites have different priorities, but their external siren settings should still take neighbours and users, as well as responders – into consideration.

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