False alarms: the real risk to businesses, safety and the impact on emergency services


09-10-2023 • 14 mins

On our latest Firecast, we welcome our guest Paul Adams, Content Marketing Manager at Hochiki Europe Limited, talking about the important subject of false alarms, the risk to businesses, safety and the impact on emergency services.

He explains how Automatic Fire Alarm Systems are vital to providing an early warning of fire and are one of the most effective ways to keep business, staff and customers safe in the event of a fire, but that a significant number of signals from these systems are not actual fires.

“We uncovered that the cost of false alarms is costing SMEs in the UK around about £700 million every single year,” Paul explains. “Nine out of ten resulted in a complete evacuation of the building, with a loss of productivity. But then it goes deeper than that because 56% of business owners that were surveyed said that excessive false alarms mean that staff then don't take the real alarm seriously, so you get alarm fatigue and complacency amongst the staff, which could result in disaster.”

In the podcast, Paul gives some ideas about what to do about it, including initiatives in Scotland and London to challenge alarms before responding.  He discusses what building owners need to do in response, how to reduce false alarms, the value of multi-sensors, the importance of understanding the small print around multi-sensor certification and how Hochiki can help.