The quick answer is that it guarantees the integrity of the alarms at the lowest cost. This is important because correct alarms can help prevent accidents and loss in production. Maintaining the alarm system constantly is the most cost efficient alternative, compared to having staggering maintenance projects at irregular intervals. For new projects and modifications, the alarm philosophy is the basis for the changes, so this should be in place in order to have an optimal alarm system.
How can you know if your alarms are giving you a problem? There are different indicators that can be seen when we are experiencing alarm problems, and they usually show up in the alarm system.
So what is an alarm system?
There are a lot of different factors you would need to consider before starting an alarm project. Various factors will have an impact on the project cost. Therefore, it is interesting to estimate the actual cost of an alarm system improvement project.
The easy answer is: "Because it is a statutory requirement". An Alarm Philosophy has to follow specific standards, and in a court of law you could be held accountable for not applying the standards to your alarm system design. However, there is more than the legal aspect to it. The Alarm Philosophy exists for operational, safety, work environmental, design and behaviour reasons - and ultimately, cost effectiveness.
There are many factors to consider when analysing why some alarm improvement projects fail. For instance, some companies underestimate the time and people needed in order to have a successful project. What actions can you take in order to ensure success?
It is easy to understand that the consequence of not responding to a critical alarm may be incidents, accidents and potentially enormous costs. However, it is not that straight forward to understand that there is a cost associated with any alarm. How can we quantify that cost?