The number of false fire alarms each year is staggering, with the latest figures from FRNSW revealing that in NSW alone 45,000 fire alarms were responded to in 2012, of which approximately 2% were genuine fire emergencies. The issue was also so problematic in Victoria, that the CFA introduced fees for false alarms which are supported by State Government legislation.
Fines are now in place across the country for businesses found to be responsible for a false fire alarm.
Poor maintenance is cited as the most common cause for false fire alarms with dirty smoke detectors, cooking incidents such as burning toast, and smouldering cigarettes also false alarm culprits.
Fire alarms should be regularly maintained by a fire maintenance company that has relevant expertise in modern alarm technology. Building managers are encouraged to work closely with their fire maintenance provider to ensure the appropriate maintenance and testing is being carried out in accordance with Australian Standards AS1851-2012 Routine service of fire protection systems and equipment.
Wormald has the following tips to help businesses minimise the likelihood of a false fire alarm:
- Check that your fire safety system is configured correctly and is suitable for your building’s use
- Review the position of fire detection devices and their sensitivities and check that they don’t need cleaning, changing or upgrading
- Effectively manage contractors and trades people by logging their presence on site to help ensure they do not put your system at risk by their activities
- Ensure all building tenants, staff and occupants are aware of fire safety guidelines and procedures
- Ensure your fire safety system is maintained in accordance with Australian Standards
For more information about how your business can prevent false fire alarms, call Wormald on 133 166 or visit www.wormald.com.au