Reducing False Alarms

Keeping you safe from fire 

When correctly designed, installed and maintained, automatic fire detection and alarm systems play an important role in keeping premises and occupants safe from fire.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of activations turn out to be false alarms which have a significant detrimental impact on both the fire service and the building’s occupants.

False alarms cause disruption to the normal operation of the business and create a drain on our resources. They can even prejudice the safety of occupants who might not react correctly when the system responds to a genuine fire if they have recently experienced a number of false alarms.

How to reduce false alarms

Whilst we encourage the installation of automatic fire alarm systems we do expect occupiers to play an active role in reducing the number of false alarms. Responsibility for the limitation of false alarms rests with every party involved in the specification, design, installation, commissioning, management and maintenance of the fire alarm system.

Once a compliant system has been handed over to the user it is incumbent on the user to ensure that the system and the building itself are suitably managed to avoid unnecessary false alarms. Where an unacceptably high rate of false alarms does occur, it is the responsibility of the user to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to reduce the rate at which they occur.

To limit the incidence of false alarms you should ensure that:

  • The risk assessment is up to date and reflects the current use and conditions of your premises.

  • The fire detection and alarm system has been correctly designed, installed and commissioned and that it is properly managed and maintained.

  • The causes of false alarms are investigated and appropriate corrective action is taken where necessary.

  • False alarms are recorded in the fire alarm log book along with any remedial action taken.

  • Your procedures include the designation of specific suitably trained staff to check whether or not there is a genuine fire when the fire alarm activates.

RBFRS Automatic Fire Alarms and Unwanted Fire Signals policy