Automatic Fire Alarms: Our Response

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service responded to nearly 1,050 calls to Automatic Fire Alarms (AFAs) in 2015/16.

Just over 1% of these calls required any firefighting actions. The rest were caused by either a faulty system or accidental activation, e.g. as a result of cooking fumes.

AFAs cost businesses time and money diverting firefighters from genuine emergencies and other duties. They also place road users and pedestrians at risk as fire engines respond at speed on blue lights.

Changes to the way that we respond to Automatic Fire Alarms

We are committed to reducing the number of false alarms we attend, so the way we respond to Automatic Fire Alarms has changed since 1st April 2017.

The information below explains the process that Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service follows. It is important that you read this information and consider how it might affect your school or business.

It is also important to update your fire risk assessment to reflect these changes.

When will we respond to an Automatic Fire Alarm?

 We will respond to an Automatic Fire Alarm if:

  • Somebody calls us to confirm that the alarm is sounding because there is a fire - in other words it is not a false alarm.

  • The alarm is sounding at premises where there could be people sleeping such as hospitals, care homes, hotels, hostels, domestic homes and halls of residence.

  • The alarm is sounding at a very high risk industrial site or high-rise premises.

When will we not respond to an Automatic Fire Alarm?

Since 1st April 2017, we no longer respond to an Automatic Fire Alarm in a non-sleeping premises unless the alarm has been backed up by a call confirming that there is a fire.

Further advice or information

If you have any questions, please contact your local Protection office

Related images


Fire engine