False alarms - changes to our response

Fire engine

From 1st April 2017, we won't respond to an Automatic Fire Alarm (AFA) in a non-sleeping premises unless the alarm has been backed up by a call confirming that there is a fire.

While firefighters are responding to false alarms they are not available to tackle real fires.  False alarms waste essential resources, potentially putting lives at risk, and they disrupt other activities such as training and community fire safety work.

Automatic Fire Alarms: Our Response

In a single year Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service responded to more than 2,500 Automatic Fire Alarms. On 99% of occasions these were avoidable false alarms caused by either a faulty system or an accidental activation for example as a result of cooking fumes.

False alarms cost businesses time and money. They also divert firefighters from genuine emergencies and other duties. We are committed to reducing the number of these false alarms and so have adopted a policy around how we respond to Automatic Fire Alarms.

Important information about how we will be responding to automatic fire alarms can be found here - Automatic Fire Alarms: Our Response

Automatic Fire Alarms: Our Response (new window, PDF 226KB)

Amendments to AFA Policy (new window, Power Point Document 1714KB)


The safety of your business premises and its occupants can be greatly enhanced by the installation of an Automatic Fire Detection and Alarm System (AFA).

Properly used and maintained, the automatic system, with its fast response in detecting a fire, can be a significant factor in reducing the risk to life and limiting damage to your property.

Unfortunately, the very features that provide this fast response can also produce unwanted signals arising from activities other than a real fire.

What is a False Alarm / Unwanted Fire Signal?

An unwanted fire signal is a fire signal resulting from a cause other than a fire.

In other words, any call from an AFA that the fire and rescue service attends that is not actually a fire is considered to be an Unwanted Fire Signal.

How can you prevent a false alarm / unwanted fire signal?

Policy

View Unwanted Fire Signals Policy (new window, PDF 1053KB)

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