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Common causes of alarm activations

There is a false alarm somewhere in the UK every two minutes. Here’s how they happen and what you can do to reduce them:


Ensure detectors are kept free from dust and maintained regularly



Cooking fumes

Is cooking taking place in an appropriate area or is the type of detector and its location suitable?




Showers and baths can cause an alarm activation. Put up signage to alert staff and keep doors closed



Aerosol sprays

Consider signage to warn staff or move the detector to a more suitable location




Ensure smoking is only in designated areas and put up signage



Fumes from hot works

Sawdust or fumes from drilling or sawing can cause a sensor to activate. Do you have a hot works policy? Are staff aware of the procedures? Is the detector type and / or location suitable?


Accidental or malicious damage

Can covers be placed on call points or can they be moved if they are constantly getting knocked? Carry out an investigation for malicious activations – it may deter others in the future.


Testing or maintenance

If connected to a call handling centre, remember to contact them prior to testing and ensure that staff carrying out the testing have been trained


System fault

Ensure that your fire alarm maintenance company carries out regular thorough system checks