As a building operator or contractor, how many times have you been woken up in the middle of the night or arrived at work in the morning only to be greeted by a long list of alarms. Your stomach sinks, coffee goes cold and you begin the painful task of scrolling through both building automation and energy management silos only to find alarms filled with messages like:
-MSSB-1 Excessive consumption
-Next alarm with little meaning or context…
The technician who setup the alarms knows what they mean, how to address, and how to solve them. Unfortunately, that technician has long left the company, leaving the building operator and new technician to inefficiently use their time trying to diagnose and fault find. Many hours later the technician diagnoses the problem but by this stage the building operator and occupants are already complaining.
When limited information can be used to generate alarms, there is limited ability to add context so that a user can interpret what the alarm means. The higher the alarm count, the higher the frustration levels and the more alarms begin to become ignored. Once alarms begin to be ignored, they can become dangerous. Once they become dangerous they become expensive. When alarms are ignored and go unnoticed, the results can be more catastrophic and physically damaging. Frequent alarms cause frustrated users to treat them as noise and nuisance rather than actionable alerts.