FIA campaign aims to tackle cost of false fire alarms

Fire Industry Association Warns of Reductions in Fire Cover for Businesses

As part of ongoing attempts to highlight the costs associated with false fire alarms, the Fire Industry Association ( FIA ) has launched an infographic detailing the extent of the problem.

The initiative is the latest development in the Cut False Alarm Costs campaign which began in July last year, with an emphasis on the opportunity to save money through properly managing detection systems.

According to the FIA , fire services attended 312,000 false alarms between 2011 and 2012, with a total cost to the UK of £1 billion.

Not only do such incidents result in a waste of time and money for the fire crews, but they also disrupt a business’s activities and subsequently damage productivity.

Indeed, with recent legislation now allowing local fire authorities to charge firms for false call-outs, the financial consequences for companies that fail to maintain their detection systems appropriately look set to become even more severe.

The FIA says that London experiences particularly high levels of false alarms, with more than 27,000 such events taking place at commercial and public buildings in the capital.

One way it’s possible to tackle the problem is through preventing many of the factors which are associated with false alarms, namely the likes of cooking fumes, steam and accidental damage to ‘Break Glass’ points.

Another is for firms to ensure their fire detection technology is properly functioning, with arranging for regular servicing a good tactic to detect any faults and allow them to be rectified before they cause any issues.

In a bid to remove potential fire hazards, commercial buildings and non-domestic 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.

View the How to Cut False Alarm Costs Infographic