False Alarms

Why have I got a fire alarm?

An automatic fire alarm (AFA) helps to keep people and property safe by giving early warning in the event of fire.

An automatic fire alarm system detects fire, heat or smoke and then produces a warning.


What’s the problem with a false alarm?

Sometimes, AFA’s go off when there is no fire and they create a false alarm – most of us have experienced the disruption and inconvenience caused when this happens.

Not only do the people close by experience the nuisance of a false alarm but fire engines are often sent to the scene unnecessarily too. When firefighters are attending a false alarm they cannot help people in need at a real emergency.

For any business where a false alarm occurs there is a cost from the disruption.


What should I do?

We recommend that you ensure your automatic fire alarm system is properly designed, installed and maintained. You may need to seek advice from a competent fire alarm engineer.

If you do experience a false alarm, you should take action to prevent it re-occurring. You will firstly need to establish what has caused the alarm.

We may be able to advise you to help you prevent false alarms. Please go to our Contact Us page on our website.

Where we consider that a fire alarm is not working properly to protect people, we may take enforcement action.


Remember an automatic fire alarm can save lives – so make sure it is working properly and you know what to do when it goes off.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service prioritises its calls and will often respond more slowly and with fewer fire engines to a fire alarm than it does when a person calls for help.

Whenever you think there might be a fire, always call 999 and ask for the Fire Service.