exida - Alarm Management Services, Alarm Rationalization, ANSI/ISA-18.2-2009, EEMUA 191

Alarm Management

Alarm Philosophy

An alarm philosophy document (APD) is the cornerstone for development and sustainability of an effective alarm management program.

It establishes the guidelines for how to address all aspects of alarm management, including:

  • Identification and classification of alarms
  • Justification of alarms to confirm or establish that they are required
  • Prioritization of alarms
  • Specification of alarm conditions and settings
  • Design of alarms
  • Implementation and testing of alarms prior to service
  • Commissioning of alarms and alarm changes
  • Training in the use, maintenance, testing & modification of alarms
  • Operation and use of alarms during normal and abnormal conditions
  • Maintenance and testing of alarms during service
  • Management of change for alarm systems
  • Performance monitoring and assessment of alarm system performance

An approved alarm philosophy document must be in place before beginning alarm rationalization.

Informational Webinar

View a Recorded Webinar on How to Create an Alarm Philosophy Document

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exida Services:

Alarm Philosophy Document template

APD template containing best practices, designed for easy compliance with ISA-18.2.

Alarm Philosophy Development Workshop

Training / guided workshop led by exida to document requirements used in the creation of a company / site specific alarm philosophy (written by exida).

APD Gap Analysis

Review of existing alarm philosophy document for compliance with the ISA-18.2 standard and current industry best practices.

Alarm Philosophy Document Template

exida’s alarm philosophy template has been developed based on industry standards, best practices and company philosophy documents from industry leaders. In particular it leverages the information included in the draft versions of the ISA-18.2 series of technical reports (e.g., TR 1 - Alarm Philosophy). The philosophy template has been structured to make it easy to comply with (and to demonstrate compliance with) the ISA-18.2 standard.


Download a sample of the exida alarm philosophy template    

Alarm Philosophy Development Workshop

Creation of an alarm philosophy document can be a resource intensive and time-consuming process. exida’s alarm philosophy development workshop:

  • Minimizes the time required from your key resources
  • Uses a structured process that leverages best practices and templates
  • Insures that the final product reflects your needs and requirements
  • Helps you get the most benefit out of your alarm system


  Task Description Comment
1 Training on Alarm Management Practices and Principles for the core team that will participate in the alarm philosophy development. Creates a common understanding for all participants. One day onsite training class
2 Conduct an Alarm Philosophy Workshop - A structured approach for extracting relevant information for inclusion in the document. Two day structured workshop leverages exida APD template as starting point
3 Write alarm philosophy document – The input obtained from workshop participants is used by exida to create an alarm philosophy document tailored to the client’s requirements Draft is delivered for review and approval within two weeks of workshop

Alarm Philosophy Document Gap Analysis

exida will review the client’s existing alarm philosophy document (APD) to compare the contents to the requirements and recommendations defined in the ISA-18.2 standard and to current industry best practices.


References   Yes
Roles and responsibilities for alarm management Yes  
Alarm design principles Yes  
Rationalization Yes  
Alarm class definition Yes  
Highly managed alarms (or site equivalent)   Yes
HMI design guidance Yes  
Alarm setpoint determination   Yes
Prioritization method Yes  
Alarm system performance monitoring Yes  
Alarm system maintenance Yes  
Testing of alarms Yes  
Approved advanced alarm management techniques   Yes
Alarm documentation   Yes
Implementation guidance Yes  
Management of change Yes  
Training Yes  
Alarm history preservation Yes  
Related site procedures   Yes
Special Alarm Design Considerations   Yes

Results will be documented in a report which highlights areas of non-compliance and provides suggested content / considerations for closing the identified gaps.


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