False alarms prompt fire service response
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Guidance provided to businesses
15 November 2017
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has responded to a deluge of false alarm calls this week by issuing advice to local businesses to check their alarms.
Fire crews from the region attended eight false alarm calls on the 13 and 14 November.
Several of the calls were at business premises caused by fumes from cooking.
The fire service subsequently has issued the following advice to reduce the number of unnecessary callouts.
- Remember, fire alarm systems are there to alert occupants to the fact that there may be a fire and depending on your fire risk assessment and emergency plans, it is normally appropriate to investigate first and only to call the Fire Service if / when there are any signs to indicate that there is actually a fire.
- If you have an automatic alarm system, make sure it is installed properly, that you know how it works and it is serviced regularly by a competent person. The British Standards Institute's BS 5839 has recommendations for the planning, design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of these systems. If these are followed, a false alarm issue is unlikely to occur.
- Best practice requires that false alarms are logged and investigated so that any patterns and trends are identified and dealt with.
- Be aware that things like steam and dust can trigger alarms and take precautions when possible.
- Ensure staff and/or residents know what to do when the alarm goes off.
The FIA has lots of resources that can help cut false alarm costs – click here to find out more.
Guidance Document BS 8629:2019
03 August 2020