Automatic Fire Alarms 

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service has changed the way it responds to Automatic Fire Alarms.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s vision is “to make South Wales safer by reducing risk.”  With this in mind, we are always evaluating our processes to ensure we are reducing risk in the community we serve in the most effective way possible.  Historically, we have sometimes sent more than one fire appliance to Automatic Fire Alarm (AFA) actuations.  Statistics show that over 97% of these AFAs are false alarms, and the remaining 3% do not necessarily require more than one fire appliance.  Each time a fire appliance is mobilised on blue lights represents an increased risk to other road users and also means those appliances and crews could be delayed in attending genuine emergencies such as house fires and RTCs. 

With the above in mind, we have produced a new risk-based system aimed at ensuring we can continue to provide a fast and proportionate response whilst minimising the other risks associated with mobilising fire appliances and crews.  The key elements of this new process are:

All premises will still receive at least one fire appliance just as quickly as before at all times of day or night;

  • There will be no change to the number of fire appliances sent to AFAs between the hours of 1800 and 0800;
  • Between the hours of 0800 and 1800, one fire appliance will be despatched to every AFA;
  • Additional fire appliances will be despatched immediately where there are signs of fire or where a 999 call is received;
  • By not automatically sending numerous appliances to all AFAs we are reducing the risk on the roads;
  • By committing fewer crews to false alarms we will be increasing their availability for real emergencies and training.

I run a business with an Automatic Fire Alarm.  How does this affect me?

This new procedure should not affect you directly – you will still receive a response from us.  However, there are some things you can do to assist us in reducing risk to the communities of South Wales.  We ask that you do the following:

  • Ensure you keep up to date with your alarm testing and maintenance;
  • Call us immediately if your alarm actuates to advise us whether:
    -  It is a false alarm (our crews will be recalled);
    -  It is a real fire (additional resources will be sent);
  • Please note that it is perfectly acceptable for you to call us on 999 to let us know that it is a false alarm.
  • Try and avoid generating false alarms – see guidance below.

    False alarm reduction guidance 

         Contact Details 

South Wales Fire & Rescue Service

Forest View Business Park
CF72 8LX

Tel: 01443 232000

Report a Fire Safety Concern

Have you recently visited a building where you were concerned about the Fire Safety Precautions or management - if so complete the online form to report your concern or contact us:

Phone on 01443 232716 (Normal Working Hours) or 01443 232000 (24 hour number).

Page Last Updated on 24/4/2017