Alarm Management


Thread Starter

Fabian Verdun

We are implementing a SIS (Safety Instrumented System) and we are looking at alarm management guidelines for it. We have been considering two options, send the SIS alarms to DCS or alarm panel. (only the important alarms). Somebody can give an opinion related to this topic.

Thanks in advance

Andy Robinson

Within our company, any interlock that protects substantial amounts of property ($500k+) or life must be hardwired to a panel. The thinking behind this is that something has possibly gone wrong with your basic control system and you shouldn't depend on it to alarm you. However, judicious use of alarms within your DCS to warn you of an approaching safety limit is a good idea.

- Andy Robinson

Chris Jennings

There is an excellent document called Alarm Systems - A Guide to Design, Management and Procurement, ISBN 0 85931 076 0

Have a look at this link:

Excerpt from the webpage:
This entirely new Publication relates to Alarm Systems provided for people operating industrial processes such as petroleum and chemical plant, power stations, transport systems etc. It gives guidance on: Alarm system philosophy, The design of alarm processing systems and their functionality, The optimisation of the operation of existing alarm system and The specification and purchase requirements for new alarm systems .

The ultimate objective is to provide guidance to designers to develop alarm systems which are more usable and which result in safer and more cost effective operation of Industrial systems. The book has been developed and written by practitioners in association with the US, Abnormal Situation Management Consortium (ASM) and has been able to identify areas and resolve issues where somewhat different terminology and practices might have been otherwise confusing. Basic requirements for alarm and annunciation systems are detailed in several Chapters. From there 18 Appendices have been prepared, each giving more intensive detail on specific aspects, including: Individual alarm design, Quantitative and qualitative risk assessment, Priority settings, Logical processing, Repeating and fleeting alarms Sensors, Operator Questionnaires, The costs of poor performance, Suppression
Study. Because of the breadth of its technical content, and to assist readers a `Road map' is included to provide directions to key information. The book is well bound with a soft cover and runs to 150 Pages

I hope this helps.

Chris Jennings
"Most discoveries are made regularly every 15 years". George Bernard Shaw
The SIS system operation should remain independent from the Basic Process Controller (BPC). Our practice has been to use hard annunciation in common shutdown groups. SIS system alarms and critical periphery may also be hard alarmed in common groups. SIS variables are then communicated to the BPC. Diagnostic programs and graphics are developed in the BPC for SIS status and process monitoring. This practice should be incorporated in the core of your SIS design. It is practically impossible to retrofit.

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Fabian Verdun

Thank for your comments. I´m going to take into account (for Andy Robinson) I have a copy of Alarm Systems - A Guide to Design, and i think is a good guide for alarms (for Chris Jennings) I want check what happen with this topic around the word because I have to take a decision related with this. Thanks for your comment again