Unwanted False Alarms - MFS Monitored

Unwanted False Alarms

What are Unwanted Alarm Activations?

The Importance of Fire Alarms

What Can Be Done

Possible Solutions

Modifying Occupant Behaviour

Legislative Requirements


The Unwanted False Alarms (UFA) measures are designed to encourage building owners to address fire alarm management responsibilities.

About one-third of all South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) turnouts are to UFAs. There were 7263 UFAs in the 2004/5 financial year and 8612 in 2005/6. A similar number is expected for the 2006/7 financial year. Less than 300 of these turnouts to alarms were because of a fire.

The safety issues surrounding UFAs include

  1. People who hear regular UFAs in their building may become complacent to the sound of the alarm. This can be dangerous when a fire does occur.
  2. UFAs call in resources (an average of two MFS units attend each UFA) which are then unavailable for a genuine emergency or could be better deployed in other situations such as fire safety activities.
  3. While all safety precautions are taken, a MFS appliance rushing to any incident places a higher-than-normal level of danger and distraction to members of the public, MFS personnel and other drivers. By reducing the number of non-emergency turn-outs we will be creating a safer environment for everyone.

This information attached refers to the management of Unwanted False Alarms, so that it may lead to reduced numbers of unwanted alarms.

The information provided assists owner/ occupiers to understand the requirements relating to the installation and maintenance of alarm systems. It also provides reasons why false or unwanted alarms should be avoided and strategies to reduce their occurrence.

For more information or to arrange an appointment with MFS personnel regarding UFAs contact 8204 3611 or country callers within South Australia 1300 737 637.

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