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THINK – a False Alarm can Cost a LIFE

Did you know… Of all fire alarm call-outs, false alarm call-outs make up one-third of them!

In 2013, 403 London premises had false alarms occur ten times or more in that year alone. With false alarm call-outs still being a strain on resources today, the authorities have been considering introducing fines for repeat offenders. The London fire brigade subsequently worked the costs out from the 403 premises call-outs. Had false fire alarm fines been in place, a total fine of £800,000 could have been awarded.

What sets off a false alarm?

False alarm activation can be caused as a result of many things from poor maintenance of your alarm system, unsuitable detection, and more! On the other hand, they can be much more trivial, such as:

“The delivery man pushed our letters through the letterbox too enthusiastically, setting off the motion sensor in the reception.”

“A bird set it off, as he was attracted to the sensor light.”

“A deer came up to the window and was picked up by the PIR (sensor/motion detector).”

“A spider caused the alarm to sound. I removed the spider and reset the alarm.”

“A metallised helium party balloon was left. It slowly deflated and sank in sight of the sensor.”

But what’s the problem with a false alarm?
It’s not all funny stories when it comes to false alarms, there are many issues with false alarms and just to name a few…
  1. Puts lives at risk – A false alarm is being attended to by authorities such as police or the fire brigade. Another emergency is called in, however, there isn’t enough responders to be able to deal with both. Therefore, this leaves an actual incident to then potentially cause damage, destruction, and possibly even death.
  2. Alarm Fatigue – If you were the neighbour of a premise which repeatedly incurred false alarms, would you be able to tell the difference for when the alarm system was responding to an actual emergency?
  3. Cost – False fire alarm costs are soaring to an outstanding £1 billion a year as a result of unnecessary call-outs. This means a waste to tax-payers money and could lead to surcharges or fines.
Why should we make an effort to prevent false fire alarms?
  • Reduced false alarm call-outs will save lives!
  • Less work for managers and business owners when having to evacuate your staff members and guests, or putting a hold on business.
  • Fewer costs to your business when preventing last-minute engineer call-outs to check on false alarm faults, by continued maintenance.
  • Local authorities are introducing fines and invoices for false fire alarm call outs for repeat offenders.

Therefore, find out more on preventing false alarms for your business, check out our latest blogs or get in touch. Call 0845 402 3045 or email for information on the maintenance of your fire or intruder alarm systems.

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