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Introduction to this document

False alarm record

It’s good practice to keep a record of false alarms as part of your fire log book. Use our record form to do this.

Why record these events?

Whilst there isn’t a legal requirement to keep a record of false alarms, there are several advantages if you do so. Firstly, it helps you to identify whether you have too many; secondly, it enables the causes to be analysed so that you can reduce the numbers of unwanted fire signals; and thirdly, if your fire management practices are ever audited, e.g. by insurers or fire officers, the records will help to show that you have taken the issue seriously. After all, frequent alarms have the potential to annoy the fire and rescue service and may cause occupants to ignore genuine fire alarms.

How to use it

Your False Alarm Record provides a timeline of the issues with your alarm system so it’s important that it’s kept up to date. The form asks for: (1) the date of the unwanted alarm signal; (2) details of what triggered it; (3) the cause; (4) the action required to rectify the problem and/or prevent a recurrence; and (5) initials and a date confirming completion.

In column three, you should record the causes of the unwanted alarm. The possibilities fall into five categories:

  • faulty equipment, i.e. faults in the control panel, wiring or devices
  • malicious act, i.e. as a result of a prank or vandalism
  • human error, e.g. when a fire was wrongly suspected and the alarm raised with good intent
  • activities near a detector, including steam, dust, cooking, tobacco smoke, etc.
  • unknown.

Show your record to the alarm engineer so that they can investigate any system faults. You can also use it to identify patterns such as times of day when malicious alarms are more common or devices which seem too easily triggered.