27 August 2014

Parts of East Midlands airport were evacuated yesterday after a false alarm.

Several flights were delayed by over half an hour.

False alarms cost the UK in excess of £1 billion a year and over a third of all emergency calls are false alarms.

They cost businesses money because of lost production, disruptions due to evacuations and increased insurance premiums.

They are also problematic for the fire services as they put a strain on resources, so much so that some services charge for repeated attendance at false alarms.

However, most fire alarm and detection systems don’t cause false alarms; it’s the mismanagement of them that does.

The FIA is campaigning to cut the cost of false alarms and has produced an infographic which highlights the extent of false alarms, identifies their causes and provides solutions to the issue.

It also has a microsite which provides useful advice and information on managing fire alarms systems, reducing false alarms and the consequences of having a false alarm.


Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.