Welcome to the Automatic Fire Alarm (AFA) Working Group
In 2012 Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MF&RS) changed its protocol for
responding to fire calls generated from actuations of Automatic Fire Alarm (AFA)
The key change to the protocol is that MF&RS will no longer send an emergency
response to AFA actuations unless a back-up 999 call is received confirming that
there is a fire.
Following concerns raised during consultation with stakeholders MF&RS agreed to
phase in the implementation to allow responsible persons sufficient time to
address any necessary changes in the management of fire safety in their
PHASE 1: From 1 November 2012 to 31 October 2013 MF&RS protocol:
Between 7.30am and 7.30pm no longer send an emergency response to AFA actuations
unless a back-up 999 call is received confirming that there is a fire.
PHASE 2: From 1 November 2013 MF&RS protocol:
The full protocol is applied regardless of the time of the day.
All exempted premises will continue to receive a full emergency response to all
actuations of their Automatic Fire Alarm systems. Exemptions apply to both Phase
1 and Phase 2.
- All residential property - where the responsibility for the safety of the
occupiers rests with the individuals who reside there.
- All Sheltered Housing, HiMO, and Multi-storey accommodation.
Double-knock Alarm Systems: British Standard for Fire Alarms BS 5839 part 1
coincidence actuation systems, if installed, will generate a full attendance.
Sleeping Risk: All sleeping risk premises such as hospitals, care homes, hostels
and hotels will be exempt during night time hours only (Between 7.30am and
Exception exemptions: Any request for an exemption due to significant risks will
be considered by the Community Fire Protection exemption panel.
Any premises abusing their exempted status may have their exemption revoked.
If you hold responsibility for the fire safety management of any premises in
Merseyside then you should:
- Refresh your fire risk assessment to account for the changes outlined above;
- Train your staff to safely investigate actuations of your AFA system;
- Ensure that all persons on your premises are aware that in the event of a fire
(or physicals signs of fire) being discovered or reported, a 999 back-up call
should always and immediately be made;
- If you are the responsible person and you have risk concerns for your premises
as a result of the new MF&RS protocol that could put lives at risk then please
contact AFAenquiries@merseyfire.gov.uk without to delay to discuss the
possibility of an exceptional exemption.
On your right you will find links to
more information on the approach and other related areas, if this information
does not answer your query/concerns please contact