The latest Fire Statistics Monitor shows that the number of false alarm incidents in England fell slightly by 5% to 272,000 in the last twelve months, but according to Siemens UK, action is needed to reduce the level of incidents further.
Commenting on the figures, Don Scott, fire consultant for UK Fire Safety within the Siemens Building Technologies division, said: "This reduction in false alarm incidents is certainly a step in the right direction, but the overall level of false alarms is still too high, particularly the 185,000 that are due to issues with apparatus.
"The impact of a false alarm should not be underestimated. In certain environments, the cost and disruption can be significant. For example, hospitals, schools and shopping centres can take several hours to recover, while industrial environments may need to shut down production, which can take days to recover. The social impact of false alarms should not be underestimated. People can become complacent when a site has repeated false alarms. This may mean that alarms are not taken seriously by staff and therefore, appropriate action is not taken. It's important to note that the act of putting persons at risk may lead to a prosecution under the RR(FS)O 2005.
"In addition, the Government's Localism Bill opens the door for individual fire and rescue services to charge for attending false alarms. This means organisations will not only face the costs of an unnecessary evacuation or disruption to business caused by a false alarm, but may also face potential fines from the fire service."
Posted: 11.00, 1.8.11, firstname.lastname@example.org