Did you know that, according to estimates by the London Fire Brigade, the UK economy loses over £1bn a year due to false alarms? Did you know that in London alone, in over a third of callouts, there is no fire?
These shocking statistics are behind the decision by the London Fire Brigade to start charging businesses if they have to attend more than 10 false alarms in a 12 month period at those premises.
Why False Alarms Matter
Apart from the economic costs to the emergency services, and to the institution or business which has had the false alarm and has lost time evacuating, there is of course a human cost to such high levels of false alarms.
For every false alarm the fire brigade attends, there is a risk that they may be overstretched when it comes to a genuine fire. There’s also evidence to suggest that the more times a fire alarm “cries wolf”, the less seriously the people in the building will take the alarm, leading to dangerous levels of apathy which could have an impact should a real fire break out.
Cutting Your Chances of a False Alarm
Most automated false alarms are caused by:
- poor choice of alarm system for the situation in hand
- poor installation
- incorrect location of sensors
- poor maintenance of the system
Premises managers and other responsible persons can help to cut the risks of false alarms by giving proper thought to all of the above. As technology improves, manufacturers are taking steps to cut the false alarm ratio in their systems, but human intelligence in the selection, siting and maintenance of alarm systems must be the key to resolving this problem.
If you are having problems with false alarms, fire alarms, emergency lighting or other fire safety issues contact us or call us on 0203 478 7347.