actions to mitigate the consequences to the facility should be documented. When normal
operations are again permitted, the tracking document or file can be used to evaluate the
4.5 Alarm Status
Reliable, up-to-date information on the status of important processes and systems is
essential to the safe and reliable operation of any facility. Much of this information is
transmitted to the operator by control panel or local panel meters, gauges, alarms, etc.
Checking the status of indicating devices and alarms should be part of each operator's
routine inspection tours (rounds). Performance of operator rounds and response to alarm
actuation are discussed in greater detail in DOE Order 5480.19, Chapter II, "Shift Routines
and Operating Practices."
Alarm systems provide a valuable backup to the operator's monitoring and control of system
status. But, just like the systems they monitor, alarms require periodic maintenance and are
subject to breakdown. It is therefore important that operators know the status of alarms
in their areas of responsibility. Facilities should include within their program for control of
equipment and system status, measures to ensure that personnel are aware of the status of
alarms. The following specific areas should be addressed:
Alarms that are totally disabled should be identified to operators through the tagout
program, if applicable, or through the use of deficiency stickers, color coding of alarm
windows, or other positive means of identification.
Instructions for operating
personnel should be provided to ensure that equipment parameters are more closely
monitored by operators during the period when alarm indication is not available.
Alarms with individual inputs disabled should be identified to operators and
documentation should be available reflecting the changed alarm characteristics.
Additional monitoring of equipment parameters is needed for those items that are not
capable of actuating the alarm. For example, a particular alarm is designed to receive