The People’s Market in Wrexham town centre was unnecessarily evacuated on Wednesday (21 January) following a fire alarm going off in the premises that turned out to be a false alarm. North Wales Fire and Rescue Service were called to the scene, with one crew attending from Wrexham.
This is yet another example of a fire crew being needlessly called to an incident, causing disruption to the public, loss of business in the market and unnecessary release of firefighters.
The FIA has been running an on-going campaign to highlight the issues associated with false fire alarms, stating that they cost the UK in excess of £1 billion a year and that in most cases it is not the fire alarm system that causes them, but system mismanagement.
In a message to businesses, the FIA points out where a false alarm could cost them money… Not only in lost production and disruption due to staff evacuation, but also in increased insurance premiums and possible future charging for attendance by fire and rescue services.
The Association further stresses that a modern, properly maintained, system rarely suffers equipment malfunctions.
The FIA is asking everyone in the industry to promote this issue to anyone responsible for fire safety in non-domestic premises and to share with them this specially-designed infographic that details the extent of the problem.
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.