Automatic 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.
What is a false alarm?
A false alarm results in a fire signal from a cause other than fire. If the fire and rescue service attend any automatic fire alarm that is not a fire, this is considered to be a false alarm or an unwanted fire signal (UwFS).
Why reduce false alarms?
Impact of false alarms
- Responding to these calls creates unnecessary risk to members of the public when appliances are responding under ‘blue light’ conditions.
- Disruption to community safety activities – education, home safety visits and fire safety checks.
- It is expensive to the Service particularly salaries and vehicle costs.
- Diverts essential services from real emergencies, thus putting lives and property at risk.
- Environmental impact due to unnecessary fire appliance movements (i.e. noise air and traffic pollution)
Impact on Businesses
- They are disruptive and costly to businesses in terms of down time and productivity. They may have an adverse effect on staff.
- Occupants of those buildings that have frequent false alarms get used to them and may delay their response, or worse not respond at all, in a real emergency.
- They adversely affect businesses who release their employees to respond as ‘on-call’ firefighters.
Find out more about our policy for attending automatic fire alarms
Read about the common causes of false alarms and actions you can take to help prevent them occurring.