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False alarms account for around 40% of all incidents attended by fire and rescue services across the country.

The situation is no different in the Humberside Service area where these types of incident cost businesses time and money and divert firefighters from genuine emergencies and other duties.

After a public consultation in 2019, Humberside Fire Authority approved a change in policy for HFRS not to attend an alarm activation at non-sleeping risk commercial premises during normal business hours, unless backed up by a call confirming that there is a confirmed fire. Furthermore, a cost recovery mechanism to support and influence fire alarm management practices was also approved. This has been enforced only with those businesses who frequently call us to incidents which turn out to be false alarms.

Guidance is given by attending crews or during follow up visits by Business Safety Inspectors who can help business owners to make small but effective changes to their site fire risk management to keep their staff safer and avoid repeat calls in the future. Simply moving a smoke detector head a few feet or having better work practices when maintenance is being carried out can make a big difference and help keep the number of false alarms down.

Ultimately, this is saving the business valuable production time and leaving fire crews to train, carry out valuable community safety work or attend actual emergencies.

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The new process began on 1 October 2019 and in its first year has shown considerable success by significantly reducing the number of call outs to false alarms. Below is an outline of the policy:

Should you be in any doubt as to how these changes may affect your organisation, then do not hesitate to contact us via email.

Click here to see the most common causes of alarm activations.

Our Business Safety teams are primarily here to help you reduce the risk from fire. It is in all of our interests to bring down the number of false alarms.

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