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Reducing false alarms

false_alarmsAutomatic fire alarms help to keep premises and their occupants safe by providing an early warning of a possible fire and enabling people inside the building to evacuate.

However, North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue is alerted to thousands of false alarms every year. Responding to all these alarms is a huge waste of resources.

From April our response to automatic fire alarms will be changing in order to reduce the number of false alarms attended by the Service.

From the 1st April 2015:

1) We will not attend automatic fire alarms between 08:00 and 18:00 at premises where people do not sleep, unless a fire has been confirmed. We will still attend automatic fire alarms outside of these hours.

2) We will send one fire engine to attend automatic fire alarms at premises where people sleep and some other higher risk premises (e.g. significant heritages site and sites with high risk manufacturing processes or storage) at all times.

3) We may not attend specific premises where there are repeated false alarms from automatic fire alarms and where the causes of these are not being addressed. (This will be an option of last resort after dialogue with the responsible person.) Alternatively, and with the agreement of the owner or occupier, an attendance may still be made but a charge may be levied.

We will still attend automatic fire alarms at domestic premises and all incidents where a fire has been confirmed.

Further information is available in the Frequently Asked Question document available here.

Below is some guidance on how to prevent false alarms.

Fire Industry Association Guidance for Responsible Persons on False Alarm Management of Fire Detection/Alarm Systems

Reducing False Alarms Guidance booklet contains information on reducing the number of false alarms from fire-detection and fire-alarm systems.


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