East Sussex firefighters issue advice after spate of false alarms

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East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is issuing advice after 16 false alarms in a 24-hour period.

There were 16 calls which turned out to be false alarms between 7am on 2 October to 7 am on 3 October 2016. The majority were linked to system faults with alarms or accidental activation.

Advice:

• Remember, fire alarm systems are there to alert occupants to the fact that there may be a fire and depending on your fire risk assessment and emergency plans, it is normally appropriate to investigate first and only to call the Fire Service if / when there are any signs to indicate that there is actually a fire.

• If you have an automatic alarm system, make sure it is installed properly, that you know how it works and it is serviced regularly by a competent person. The British Standards Institute’s BS 5839 has recommendations for the planning, design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of these systems. If these are followed, a false alarm issue is unlikely to occur.

• Best practice requires that false alarms are logged and investigated so that any patterns and trends are identified and dealt with.

• Be aware that steam and dust can trigger alarms and take precautions when possible.

• Ensure staff and/or residents know what to do when the alarm goes off.

An ESFRS spokesperson added, “If you do have a fire, please call 999 immediately. Please do not put yourself at risk and only attempt to use any extinguisher if trained and it is safe to do so.”