Alarm Philosophy


A properly implemented alarm system can reduce operator work load, improve situational awareness and aid the operator in preventing minor deviations from becoming major incidents. A poorly implemented system adds to workload, increases frustration, stress, and confusion, and can ultimately impact safety, reliability, production, and profitability.

Does the following seem familiar?

  • During plant upsets are the alarms coming in so fast that your console operator has someone stand next to them and press the silence button

  • Your console operators pick their own alarms settings

  • Alarms are configured, but no one knows why they were set at that particular value

  • Your console operators only look at the screen when the alarm goes off

  • You have pages of disabled or standing alarms

  • Your site does not have a clearly written, well understood, and fully implemented alarm management philosophy

An alarm philosophy is essential in the development of a good alarm system and can be used on a new system, modifications to existing systems or as a basis of an alarm rationalization project.

Service Description

We will develop a comprehensive Alarm Philosophy customized for use at you site. This Alarm Management Philosophy document will be tailored for use at the site to set policy around future implementation, use, and maintenance of the alarm system. The alarm philosophy will cover:

  • Industry standards and best practices including EEMUA 191 and ISA S88
  • What is in an Alarm Philosophy?
  • Alarm Objective Analysis
  • Alarm Rationalization
  • Alarm Lifecycle Management
  • Alarm Rates
  • Alarm Distribution
  • Nuisance Alarms
  • Smart Alarming
  • Alarm Priorities and Annunciation
  • Alarm Statistic Gathering and Analysis

This service begins with a three day site visit to interview stakeholders in the alarm system. UCDS will then generate a draft Philosophy document for Client review.

UCDS will then put on a two day workshop at your site to educate key personnel on the content and proper implementation of the Philosophy.
For additional information or to book this service please E-mail us at: