Essex County Fire & Rescue Service

Transparency Overview

Select Category

Search Site

FOI / 4100 / 2020 - Automatic Fire Alarms

Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. We can confirm that Essex County Fire & Rescue Service does hold this information.

Please see below the answers to your request.


Final Response:

Please can you email me a copy of policy and procedures for attending after an ARC alerts you to a fire activation?

Mobilising to Automatic Fire Alarm Systems 

ECFRS has taken a risk based approach to its response to calls from premises fitted with automatic fire alarm and detection systems, in order to limit the negative impact that unwanted fire signals have on the efficiency of the Service. Premises are categorised at three levels according to premises type/use and the associated level of risk. Mobilising to Automatic Fire Alarm Systems Level one premises have high life risk associated with their use and have a full and immediate mobilising response as default. Level two premises will comprise known higher risk premises and premises that qualify for automatic or assessed exemption from mobilising restrictions. Level three premises have a lower inherent risk and will be subject to a call challenge to confirm a fire before a mobilisation of resources is made. Where a call challenge has established that there is no fire at the premises, no mobilisation will be initiated.

Calls Received from Alarm Receiving Centres (ARC’s)

The ARC operator will be asked if a fire is confirmed. Where confirmation is received a mobilising response will be made appropriate to the premises type/use. Where the ARC cannot confirm the fire they will be asked to contact the premises occupier to ascertain the cause of the alarm. In circumstances where the premises occupier is unsure of the cause they will be advised by the ARC to carry out a check of the premises. Where the ARC cannot make contact with the premises i.e. outside normal working hours, they should be advised to contact the premises key holder to attend the premises and to confirm if fire has occurred via a 999 call.

It must be emphasised that it is the premises responsible person (RP) who must ensure a safe system of work is undertaken by all persons investigating an alarm actuation. The RP is also responsible for the quality/accuracy of information relating to the premises, held by their contracted ARC and must have suitable measures in place to keep that premises information up to date (see Duty of RP in support information). Fire service Control will give the ARC operator details of the intended response, i.e. number of appliances dispatched or non- attendance, according to the information they have received. Where a fire has been confirmed via the ARC, occupier or key holder the full predetermined attendance will be mobilised.

Technical Fire Safety Policy Fire Alarm/Detection Systems with Automatic Fire Alarm (AFA) Facility (2013)