Product: Smoke Alarm
Extra fire alarm   (+2)  [vote for, against]

An auxiliary fire alarm with a different noise, in case fire breaks out during the regular weekly test of your office's normal fire alarm - i.e. when no one would react to a normal fire alarm sound.
-- hippo, May 08 2015

Everything's OK alarm
[bs0u0155, May 10 2015]

But would you even hear it over the normal alarm?
-- 21 Quest, May 08 2015

Call me old fashioned, I'm one of those people that investigate alarm sounds.
-- normzone, May 08 2015

You're old fashioned.

if I investigated every alarm I can currently hear, I'd have very little time to waste on the internet.
-- bs0u0155, May 08 2015

// I'd have very little time to waste on the internet //

The horror, the horror ...

Just how many of those alarms are you personally responsible for triggering ... ?
-- 8th of 7, May 08 2015

What happens when they test the extra alarrum?
-- pocmloc, May 08 2015

Irreversible hearing damage.
-- 8th of 7, May 08 2015

Would the normal alarm sound when the auxiliary was being tested if there was a real fire? This would then create the necessity of a third alarm....
-- xenzag, May 08 2015

How would the third-tier alarm ever be tested without causing total panic ? It would be necessary to have a pre-alarm test warning tone, which would make an unannounced test impossible - which is of course completely unacceptable.

Maybe the first-tier alarm could be used as the test tone to preceed the third-tier alarm (except when the second-tier alarm was about to be tested).

Then the second-tier alarm could be used as a confirmation tone for the first-tier alarm, unless the third-tier alarm was about to be used for an unannounced test, in which case the first-tier alarm would have to preceed the third-tier alarm (which would be used as a warning for the second-tier alarm test, confirming that the first-tier alarm was a real alarm, unless it was an unannounced test of the second-tier alarm, in which case the first-tier alarm would only be an advisory for an announced test of the third-tier alarm (in the absence of a real alarm from the second-tier alarm, providing the announced test of the third-tier alarm has been advised before the unadvised test of either the first or third tier alarms has been initiated) which would then be the precursor to the announced test of the second-tier alarm.

Any member of staff who is incinerated after assuming that an alarm is in fact a warning for the unannounced test of a higher tier alarm (where a lower number designates a higher tier) may (on completion of the appropriate forms) be entitled to attend an alarm familiarization course, providing that said course is not interrupted by an unannounced test of a first or second tier alarm, unless precceded by an announced test of a third tier alarm acting as advice of an announced test of an alarm of a higher tier (designated by a lower number) in advance of an unannounced test.
-- 8th of 7, May 08 2015

Hire an arsonist to set an actual fire each week during the weekly test. Therefore, no alarm without fire, therefore no second alarm required.
-- pocmloc, May 08 2015

You're just oversimplifying it to make things difficult, aren't you ?
-- 8th of 7, May 08 2015

My lab has (had!) an alarm system that includes a voice. So, every Wednesday at 11am it would go:

"<whoop whoop noise> 'This is a fire alarm. Please leave the building by the nearest available exit' <whoop whoop noise>"

Then one Wednesday it went:

"<whoop whoop noise> 'This is a fire alarm. Please leave the building by the nearest available exit. This is not a fire drill.' <whoop whoop noise>"

And so most people who were paying attention left the building. It transpired that the alarm system had a manual override to add the "This is not a fire drill" part of the message, and they had to test _that_ too.

I'm not sure if there have been any iterative escalations of this system since then.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, May 08 2015

What would Jesus do, if he were flying coach in a 747 and the fire alarm went off?
-- popbottle, May 09 2015

Turn the wine into water?
-- xenzag, May 09 2015

//iterative escalations//

I think I may have walked into one yesterday. On my way to a meeting half way up a large tower block, I found the lobby full of people milling around in a "not sure whether this is an evacuation-drill" sort of way.

I heard no alarm, I saw no smoke and the lifts were still working, so I proceeded to my meeting - but that meeting was interrupted at random intervals by variously-worded interruptions over the PA system, which my fellow meetees had already agreed to ignore.
-- pertinax, May 09 2015

Being that I am an expert in this field, (It's my job to announce over the intercom if it's a real drill or not, in real life), You should all listen to my idea about what to do about the "new alarm", in terms of how to test it.

I say the third alarm would be tested by me screaming at the top of my voice over the system "Every man for himself, get the fuck outta the building as fast as you can, because this is a fake alarm/alarm. And thank you, have a nice day" There that settles that.
-- blissmiss, May 09 2015

On reflection, maybe a better solution would be to have the fire alarm sounding continuously, 24 hours a day, with a silence denoting that the building is on fire.
-- hippo, May 09 2015

//Every man for himself, get the fuck outta the building as fast as you can//

In my [former] lab, people would have paused to weigh up whether or not they could finish loading their gel, do a quick plasmid prep, freeze down some cells and put six years worth of labbooks into a carryable box whilst retaining a 50:50 chance of escaping with only second degree burns.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, May 09 2015

The problem with traditional alarms, is that during an emergency, you want them to go from nothing, to working. Now, during emergencies, like when things are on fire, things often don't work. So when you hear nothing, it's either because everything is OK, or, the the alarm is on fire and you will only find out when it's too late. Naturally, this uncertainty is the source of widespread anxiety whenever people don't hear the alarm.

Into the fray marches the genius of Homer Simpson. By simply inverting the whole alarm paradigm he has solved it's inherent problem. Homer invented the "Everything's OK alarm" <link>. We just need to implement these worldwide. Nothing spreads the sort of unease entirely appropriate to a fire better than a sudden silence.
-- bs0u0155, May 10 2015

If noisy fire alarms are found to be annoying, activating a smoke generator in the air conditioning system would be an effective alternative alarm. Different colours of smoke could be used for tests and real alarms.
-- hippo, May 11 2015

For art galleries displaying modernist/surrealist paintings, large LCD screens could display images of motorised hole-boring tools and equipment, along with the legend "This Is Not A Drill" ...
-- 8th of 7, May 11 2015

Keep everybody happy, have constant nature sounds playing in the background and when the birds start freaking out and then everything goes silent... instinct takes over and all us ground-bound critters pay attention.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, May 12 2015

^ to [blissmiss] screaming; "Every man for himself, get the fuck outta the building as fast as you can!"
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, May 12 2015

random, halfbakery