Unwanted Fire Signals 

This section of the South Wales Fire & Rescue Service (SWFRS) website is provided to alert and remind people of the potential consequences of false alarms/unwanted actuations from Automatic Fire Alarm Systems known as Unwanted Fire Signals (UFS). It aims to provide guidance, relevant information and highlight our Policy.

SWFRS is committed to eradicating UFS thus reducing the number of unwanted mobilisations. UFS are disruptive to both the operation of your organisation and the fire and rescue service. By reducing the number of emergency fire appliance mobilisations the risk to the community and Fire & Rescue Service crews is greatly reduced.  Attending UFS actuations means that Fire and Rescue Service appliances are not available for real fires and rescues, as well as disrupting essential training and community safety initiatives.

All organisations are reminded that fire alarm maintenance, false alarm reduction and procedures to identify false alarms are the responsibility of the premises responsible person.

The national policy and guidance requires all premises with an automatic fire alarm system to have call filtering at the premises to ensure false alarms are identified prior to the Fire Service being called.

Basic Statistics

South Wales FRS 2010-2011

  • False Alarms in South Wales accounted for 21.31% of all calls to the Fire Service.
  • Total calls to Automatic Fire Alarm Systems totalled 6117 incidents, and 73 activations were recorded as malicious.
  • Of the false alarms, after call questioning, 11.46 % were identified as false alarms and no attendance by the Fire Service was made
  • Calls from Automatic Fire Alarm Systems that turned out to be fire accounted for 2.86% of all AFA calls.

False Alarm Reduction Guidance

Please view the False Alarm Reduction Guidance document for better practice guidance and ideas on how best to reduce false/unwanted alarms.

Please note - Any actions should be subject to the premises fire risk assessment.

It is estimated in some establishments over 70% of false alarms are resolvable alarms and due to human action. The premises is therefore aware of the cause of the alarm actuation and that it is false, however in many cases the fire service are still mobilised. SWFRS call reduction initiatives will encourage improved management procedures to reduce these calls.

SWFRS policy is based on national guidance, it aims to highlight to premises with automatic fire alarm systems that the management of their fire alarm system and procedures are their responsibility. SWFRS encourages proactive management to reduce and minimise false alarms at the premises and calls to the fire service. If a premises continues to have false alarms and limited or no actions have been taken to resolve the problem then further action may be taken through the fire safety regulation process.

For further guidance, assistance and queries, please contact:
Call Reduction Unit
Legislative Fire Safety
South Wales Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters
Forest View
CF72 8LX

Telephone: 01443 232713

email: firesafety@southwales-fire.gov.uk


         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 15/6/2017