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Reducing false alarms

How you can help reduce false or unwanted alarms.

We fully support the installation of automatic fire alarm systems, but these systems must be fully managed and maintained to reduce false alarms and ensure that they activate at the right time and achieve the correct response.

Why should I reduce false alarms?

  • Each false alarm can lead people to become complacent when they hear the fire alarm.
  • There is a cost to you as a business from productivity time lost.
  • Emergency services are diverted from other emergencies, training and other prevention and protection work.
  • There is an increased risk on the roads due to unnecessary blue light responses.
  • As a responsible person you have a duty under the Fire Safety Order 2005 to maintain the facilities and equipment provided. Failure to do this could lead to prosecution.

How can I reduce false alarms?

Fully investigate the cause of any fire alarm activation. It could be:

  • a true activation
  • malicious activation
  • activation with good intent
  • activation as a result of poorly maintained or wrongly positioned equipment.

It may be that:

  • you need to work with your fire alarm company to review the type of detection that you have in a certain area
  • that a member of staff requires retraining
  • a system of work needs reviewing
  • better maintenance of the system is required.

You must work with your fire risk assessor and update your fire risk assessment with any changes.

Further guidance

For specific guidance on eliminating unwanted fire alarm activations, refer to the Fire Industry Association and the National Fire Chiefs Council guidance.

Last updated:
25 October 2022
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