“Good and proper alarm management is like the lighthouse guiding the ships and warning them of danger”

Alarm management is recognized by industry as an important and integral part of the reliability of the production process and the safety of personnel, business and infrastructure. Proper alarm management is about getting the right information at the right time, to the right person such that this person can take the appropriate action to bring the process and / or the infrastructure back to normal and / or safe conditions.
Alarm Management
What is meant with “alarm management”?
Many systems, equipment, tools and instruments in industry or in an infrastructure are generating so-called alarms. These are not necessarily burglary, gas or fire alarms, but events requiring human intervention, often in a highly automated environment.

Too many alarms result in an environment where the person who should take action, does not know what to do first or it results in a system which is ignored. Too little alarms could lead to situations where the intervention is too late. Alarm management aims to ensure that there are just enough alarms and of such a nature that the person who needs to take action is sufficiently informed about the nature of the situation alarmed, about the time left to intervene, on the risks of intervention, on the possible cause or causes of the problem, the consequences when no action is taken, and on the various actions to be taken to return to normal or safe situation.

What is proper alarm management about?
ISA, the International Society of Automation has developed a standard (ISA/ANSI 18.2) which prescribes how the life cycle of an alarm system should be organized. Next to this life cycle model, it enforces a set of definitions which are now an industry standard, meaning that when one term of this terminology is used, it has the defined meaning for all involved parties: users, suppliers, consultants and regulatory instances. AlarmManagement4U is since 2006 member of the committee that has established this standard and its further updates and technical reports. Technical reports assist readers further in the proper application of the standard in the management of their alarm system.

This standard has been adopted by the International Electro Technical Commission (IEC) as an international standard (IEC 62682). These standards will be implemented by national authorities in the local language of the country concerned.

So if you have a business or a company that operates processes or infrastructures which need to meet such standards, it is important to implement the various processes prescribed by the standard and generate the various documents ensuring any inspecting authority that your company operates in accordance with this standard and its recommendations.

Alarm improvement can start at one of three processes: monitoring and assessment of an existing alarm system, audit of the current alarm management processes or by establishing an alarm philosophy, for an existing or new asset.
An alarm philosophy is a document that outlines the goals of a proper alarm management system in your company or organization. This document also specifies how alarms are identified, how they are documented and rationalized, how they are designed and how the alarms will look like (be presented to an operator), how the alarms and the alarm system implemented, operated and maintained, how the alarm system is monitored and assessed, how changes are managed and how the entire alarm management is audited.

How can AlarmManagement4U help you?
AlarmManagement4U can help you create or review your alarm philosophy and/or assist you to achieve the objectives of your alarm philosophy.

AlarmManagement4U can help you identify alarms, rationalizing your alarms and documenting your alarms. The rationalization process ensures that there are not too many and not too little, or late alarms.
AlarmManagement4U can help you design your alarms, according to the industry standard (ANSI / ISA 101) and to implement the alarms or alarm system.

Additionally, as an independent service provider, AlarmManagement4U can advise you in the choice of instruments and tools for reporting and assessment of your alarm system.

And, if you've implemented all work processes, AlarmManagement4U can audit your alarm management processes according your alarm philosophy, the latest industry standards and interview the users about the adequacy of the alarm system and its management.

If you have not yet implemented all work processes, the audit will seek to identify the shortcomings that exist in your company in this area (perform a gap analysis).

Why would you choose for Alarmmanagement4U?
Manage4U is one of the few companies in Europe, Middle East and Africa represented in the standard committee. This means there is not only access to the most recent version of the standard, but also an understanding of what is being developed in the next edition of the standard and/or in the technical reports.

Standards and guidelines are written in English, but the people involved in your organization, workers, technicians and operators are not always sufficiently trained in the English language to understand the defined terminology. Therefore, AlarmManagement4U can assist you in developing documents, training and presentations in any of the five languages that you can find on this website and to conduct interviews in your local language.

Why should you educate people on the topic Alarm Management?
Firstly, it is the management of a production site or an organization which needs to be made aware of the problems that can be caused by an inadequate alarm system for an infrastructure or process.

Secondly, all people involved must be trained in the terminology of the (industry) standard when it is applied. An unambiguous agreement on terminology is one of the fundamental objectives of a standard.

Thirdly, all stakeholders, including technicians and operators should be informed about the different processes that good alarm management entails.

And lastly, if all the above is done, technicians and operators should be trained in the new or updated alarm system, meeting the goals of the implementation phase of the alarms or the alarm system.

These courses can be tailor-made for your business or you can choose for a standard training of ISA.

In collaboration with ISA-Europe, the IC39c can course on alarm management, can be taught in your company or organization.

Building on the experience of more than 35 years, AlarmManagement4U can give you advice in the field of alarm management.

The difference between alarm management services and advice is primarily the nature of the contract. Advice is usually a short-term contract and advisory of nature, while the alarm management services are longer term assignments and of executive nature.

Advice can also be provided on the choice of the tools, software, methodologies, training and external resources which can be deployed in your business.
About was established in 2016 as a web portal for Manage4U with the aim of providing management, consulting and training services in alarm management.

Founder of Manage4U and principal consultant is Lieven Dubois. Lieven studied industrial engineering in electronics and software in Belgium. As a good Belgian, he speaks several languages: Dutch, French, English, German and Italian.

Experience with alarm management dates back to early 1990 when an IT system for handling alarms in a bank network in Belgium using a real-time expert system was designed.

Lieven is a member of the ISA since 1996 and has made a contribution to Technical Report 4 which deals with the advanced logic to reduce the number of alarms presented to one operator.

Lieven is also co-author of two papers presented to the IFAC HMS conferences.
AlarmManagement4U can rely on a network of fellow consultants who can help you with your specific alarm management problem.
You may, without obligation and free of charge, get in touch on the subject of alarm management by e-mail to
info @
Process industry
Process industry is the manufacturing of products on an industrial scale, which is mainly achieved by applying chemical, biochemical, mechanical and / or physical processes. The processes consist of sub-operations (unit operations), and often take place in a highly automated environment. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Infrastructure refers to structures, systems, and facilities serving the economy of a business, industry, country, city, town, or area, including the services and facilities necessary for its economy to function. It is typically a term to characterize the existence or condition of costly 'technical structures' such as roads, bridges, tunnels, or other constructed facilities such as loading docks, cold storage chambers, electrical capacity, fuel tanks, cranes, overhead clearances, or components of water supplies, sewers, electrical grids, telecommunications, and so forth.

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Alarm Management Work processes

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