Unless a fire has been confirmed, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) will not attend automatic fire alarm (AFA) call outs to commercial business and workplace premises
In a move that will bring SFRS in line with the recommendation adopted by many fire brigades in England and Wales, from 1 July firefighters in Scotland will only respond to an automatic fire alarm at a business premises if a call has also been placed to confirm a fire.
A confirmed call is:
David Farries, SFRS Director of Service Delivery said: “Our crews attend more than 28,000 false alarms each year […] These types of incidents account for almost one-third of our activity across Scotland, and they are often caused by cooking fumes, dust, or a lack of maintenance.
“Responding to false alarms places a significant drain on front line services and causes lengthy interruptions to workplace and business premises […] By changing our response to these types of alarms, we can potentially free up 64,000 hours every year.”
Key guidance for businesses includes:
Insured customers in Scotland should contact their remote alarm monitoring company and local Fire Officer to check if their call-out protocols will or have changed (from 1 July 2023).
If so, they should re-agree the callout and response protocols, so all parties are operating from the same emergency plan.