FIA launches nationwide campaign to reduce false alarms

Published:  03 July, 2012

The UK-based Fire Industry Association’s new website is dedicated to reducing false alarms.

Unwanted Fire Signals has long been an important issue for the Fire and Rescue Services (FRS), especially with changes to response policies to automatic fire alarms by fire services in England. False alarms are a huge drain on both financial resources and time, it is estimated that false alarms cost the UK in excess of £1 billion a year.

The FIA, a not-for-profit trade association, has set up a false alarms website to help everyone cut the cost of false alarms to businesses and the fire services. The website address is www.fia.uk.com/en/cut-false-alarm-costs.

Under the Localism Act 2011, FRS’s can now charge for attendance at false alarms of persistent offenders with an automatic fire alarm (AFA).

CEO FIA, Graham Ellicott, explained that under the terms of the Localism Bill, Fire Authorities will only be able to charge for AFA’s that have malfunctioned or been improperly installed.

“It is a common misconception that false alarms are caused by malfunctioning fire alarm systems; however, research by London Fire Brigade suggests that only two per cent of false alarms are attributable to equipment malfunctions or incorrect installation” he said.

The vast majority of false alarms come about as a result of poor management issues and the FIA believes that the FRS’s should work with the ‘responsible person’ and fire alarm maintenance companies to reduce false alarms.

The Association aims for the website to be used as a signpost by alarm maintenance companies to help end users work with them to implement better alarm management.

Just some of the topics that the website looks at are what a false alarm is; who is responsible; what an effective fire alarm management strategy is and how to reduce false alarms.

The Association’s false alarms website can also be accessed from the FIA homepage here.

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