New Approach Planned for Automatic Fire Alarm Response

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) will implement a new approach to its response to Automatic Fire Alarm (AFA) calls, effective from July 1st, 2024. This strategic initiative aims to optimise resource allocation, reduce unnecessary disruptions, and enhance overall efficiency in our emergency response.

Automatic Fire Alarms (AFAs) are designed to detect the presence of smoke or flames and alert individuals to potential fire hazards. However, statistics show that the majority of signals from these systems are indeed false alarms, often triggered by (but not limited to) cooking fumes, dust, or inadequate maintenance.

In light of this, from July 1st 2024, MAWWFRS will no longer respond to AFA calls, except in specific circumstances including residential premises, nursing and care homes, and premises subject to fire safety prohibition or enforcement notices.

Head of Corporate Risk and Area Manager, Peter Greenslade said;

"As a Service we attend in excess of 2000 alarm actuations in commercial buildings every year with over 99% of these calls being false alarms.  This disrupts the community safety work that the Service can deliver, operational training for crews and introduces environmental and road risks that are unnecessary.  Additionally, the businesses themselves are impacted due to the disruption caused."

He continued; "It is important that commercial premises take ownership of false fire alarms within their premises as is their legislative duty.  We will of course always respond to 999 calls when people have identified that there is a fire."

We would like to take this opportunity to reassure the public of the Service’s unwavering commitment to emergency response and community safety, with this new approach designed to enhance service delivery and optimise resource utilisation.

Watch this short animation video explaining why this is happening and how it will improve the service.

English Video

Welsh Video

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