Video - automatic fire alarms

Thursday, March 16, 2017


Transcript (new window, PDF 21KB)

Video - Area Manager Simon Gibbins discusses the changes to Cheshire's response to Automatic Fire Alarms (new window, Movie 43872KB

Changes to the way firefighters respond to automatic fire alarms

Cheshire firefighters are advising businesses that from April 1st 2017 there will be changes to the way they respond to all Automatic Fire Alarms (AFAs).

From this date onwards, Cheshire fire crews will not respond to any AFAs at the majority of business premises (including schools) unless a caller at the building reasonably believes that there is a fire. 

AFAs from premises where there could be people sleeping, such as care homes, hospitals, private dwellings, hotels, hostels, halls of residence, very high risk industrial sites and high rise buildings will will continue to get an emergency attendance.

Of the total number of AFAs attended in 2015/16, just over 1% of the calls required any firefighting action.  AFAs cost business time, money and divert firefighters from genuine emergencies and other duties. They also put road users and pedestrians at risk as fire engines respond at speed on blue lights.

The changes

Although the current emergency attendance to places where people sleep will not change, the new procedure will help bring down false emergency calls in non-domestic premises (which include schools).

The system will work so that when a call comes in from a building at any time during the day or evening, a fire engine will not automatically be sent. A 999 call will need to be made from someone at the premises, who reasonably believes that a fire has broken out. Only then will fire engines respond.

Fire safety managers at business premises need to be aware of this change and include it in their fire procedures and risk assessment. They also need to make their staff aware that, in the event of a fire, they should call 999 immediately.

More information

More information about the changes to Automatic Fire Alarms

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Area Manager, Simon Gibbins

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