You have a duty to maintain your fire alarm system up to the required standard. However, if your fire alarm generates an unacceptably high rate of false alarms and they are not investigated or measures taken to reduce re-occurrence, your fire alarm may be regarded as non-compliant.
Your premises should have a suitable system implemented for recording and investigating false alarms and UwFS. The type of information that may be useful in identifying the cause of a false alarm or UwFS are:
- Date and time
- Identity and location of device (if known)
- Reason for false alarm (if known)
- Activity in the area at time of actuation
- Action taken on the cause of the false alarm
There should be a suitable investigation following every false alarm and appropriate measures taken to reduce reoccurrence. Some suggestions for this can be found on the Causes of UwFS and How to Reduce Them page.
When Is It Time to Contact a Suitably Trained Engineer?
- If your premises have up to and including 40 detectors and the fire alarm system generates three or more false alarms in any 12 month rolling period, you should instigate an in-depth investigation by your alarm engineer.
- If your premises have more than 40 detectors, then you should arrange for an alarm engineer to investigate if:
- There is more than one false alarm per 20 detectors in a year
- One manual call point or detector generates three or more false alarms
Your Alarm Engineer
When your fire alarm system has its scheduled service your alarm engineer should check your false alarm record. They will carry out a preliminary investigation if:
- There is more than one false alarm per 25 detector heads per year
- There have been more than 10 false alarms since the previous service
- There have been two or more false alarms from the same manual call point or detector (excluding good intent actuations)
- Any persistent causes of false alarms are identified
- There are more than two UwFS in the last 12-month period.
You should receive the outcome of the preliminary investigation as well as any relevant advice, including whether an in-depth investigation will be required.