Changing how we respond to automatic fire alarms (AFA)s
- From 2 April 2013, any premises reporting an automatic fire
alarm sounding will be required to confirm to 999 staff that there
is a fire, or signs of fire, before any fire fighting response is
- This policy will apply during the day and at
night, and whether a call is received directly from the
affected building, through a call handling organisation or some
- This is an extension of the policy KFRS introduced in April
2012, which affected daytime calls (6am to 6pm).
- For callers from sheltered accommodation KFRS will be asking
for confirmation if the call is a known false alarm, if they are
unable to do this then we will send an emergency
response. However we will expect these organisations to investigate
false alarms and take any actions necessary to reduce them in
Your alarm, and the safety of those who use your premises, is
A third of the total number of calls the service received were
previously from automatic systems and over 98% of these were false
alarms triggered by things like dust or poorly maintained systems.
This disrupts your building or business and diverts firefighters
from genuine emergencies.
Since January 2011 we have been supporting building occupiers
and 'responsible persons' to make sure they are aware of their
legal responsibilities, the actions they can take to reduce
unwanted calls from their AFA systems and how to confirm if there
is a fire or signs of fire in the building before calling the fire
The service has seen a significant reduction in the number of
false alarms attended since it introduced the first phase of the
From April 2013, premises with AFA systems will need to ensure
their fire risk assessment reflects the full implementation of the
change to the policy and that all staff and occupants affected by
the changes are aware of what to do when the alarm sounds.
Premises need to consider the following:
- Make sure you have arrangements in place so that if your alarm
does go off everyone in the building knows what to do. This
includes how you will check to see if there is a fire or signs of
fire and who will call the fire service. These arrangements must
work 24 hours a day.
- Have you amended your fire risk assessment to take account of
- Is your alarm system properly designed, installed, maintained
- Do you investigate the cause of false alarms and take action to
make sure they are not repeated?