False fire alarms

False fire alarms are costly to the fire service and your business due to the disruption they cause.

By law, you must maintain your system to reduce the number of false alarms. You must have someone who is able to respond within 20 minutes.

If crews attend and there is no fire, they will decide the best course of action. They will do this with or without that person's attendance.

To help keep false alarms to a minimum, you should:

  • make staff or contractors aware of the automatic fire alarm system
  • ensure contractors do not generate heat, smoke or flame without permission
  • not allow any renovation works unless you take the relevant precautions

Charges for false alarms

If we respond to a false alarm more than once in 12 months, it is unacceptable.

We will send you a letter each time, offer advice and suggest actions for you to take.

We will charge you for the fourth and all further call-outs in a 12-month period. 

If you require tailored advice or support please contact us via email [email protected]

We have a policy on attending automatic fire alarms in low-risk commercial premises.

From April 1 2020, if an alarm call centre informs fire control that an alarm activated at a lower risk commercial premise, someone on site will need to confirm the fire before any appliances go out.

This is part of the national drive led by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) to reduce the impact of unwanted fire signals (Uwfs).