Alarm Recognition & Interpretation for Vulnerable Customers

Alarm Recognition & Interpretation for Vulnerable Customers
Gas Distribution Networks (GDN) have an emergency response team to respond to calls from customers who experience CO or methane leaks. 

Categorising an emergency can be difficult for the call operative for the following reasons:

• Customers can be unsure of what the alarm sound means. Some examples of misunderstandings are:

o A faulty alarm system or low battery sound can be misunderstood as a leak detection

o A CO leak is detected but the customer ignores it. Customers can sometimes remove batteries to extinguish the noise, putting them at risk if a leak occurs

o Alarm sounding can cause distress and anxiety to some mentally unwell customers, leading to absenteeism. This will make it difficult for an emergency response engineer to access the property to investigate.

• The customer may be unaware what actual alarm is sounding (e.g., confusion between fire alarm and CO alarm).