Reducing the Number of Unwanted Fire Alarm Signals 


Attendance to premises in response to an unwanted fire signal wastes the available resources of the fire service, when the fire appliances and crews could be required elsewhere for real emergencies. 

Lives could be put at risk, not only where there may be a genuine fire, but in unnecessary travel under emergency conditions to a false alarm, with the associated risk to other road users. Repetitive false alarms tend to create a sense of complacency and distrust with the people the fire alarm system is there to protect, which is potentially dangerous since they may not react correctly if there was a real fire emergency.

Recognition of the typical causes of false alarms and taking preventative action is the responsibility of everyone concerned, and the following information highlights typical causes and the actions to take.

Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service have adopted the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) policy “Response to Remotely Monitored Fire Alarm Systems”.  The national policy can be obtained from the CFOA web site:

CFOA web site, enter 'Response to Remotely Monitored Fire Alarm Systems' in the CFOA search Engine. 

For information on our local policy  Fire Safety Guidance Note 74 details the registration process whilst  Fire Safety Guidance Note 72 provides a range of practical methods to reduce the number of unwanted false alarms.