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False Alarms amount to over a third of callouts in England

CST: False Fire Alarms: The Risks, Consequences and Preventing Unnecessary Evacuations

Did you know more than a third of all emergency calls in the UK are false or unwanted? Costing the UK over £1 billion a year!

According to the Home Office, in the year 2021/22 (ending June 2022), fire and rescue services attended over 233,000 false alarms in England alone, amounting to 40% of all callouts.

False fire alarms put a strain on local resources and are a danger to the public. Not only this, but they can also end up costing your business time and money. All of this means mitigating against false alarms is critically important, not just for your business but for the wider public too.

The Risks

Fire brigades are sent out to so many false alarms that response times to genuine incidences suffer as a result. This puts those in dangerous situations at an even higher risk of harm. They also put firefighters and the public at risk from avoidable blue light journeys.

The problem is so endemic that in 2021/22 (ending June 2022) the Fire Brigade attended approximately 54,000 false alarms in London alone. This amounts to 148 every single day. Apart from keeping firefighters from attending actual emergencies, this can lead to complacency whenever actual alarms go off.

Because so many premises use these kinds of automated systems, UK fire brigades will often contact an alarm site to confirm if there is an incident. This is a major issue because those on-site may not be able to assess the danger accurately. In fact, there may not be someone in the building at all.

The Consequences

We have already discussed the risk to life, but there are other issues to consider. Public purses are tightly squeezed throughout the UK, and false alarms only worsen this problem. False alarms now put such a strain on resources that The London Fire Brigade is actively considering charging for these visits. But this is not limited to London.

In fact, in line with the Localism Act of 2011, UK fire and rescue services are legally permitted to charge businesses in the event of a false alarm.

Avoid False Fire Alarms Today

It is vitally important that your staff can easily identify false alarms and contact one another when any alarm goes off. By having an ironclad system in place, you can preserve productivity and lessen disruption to public services. At CST, we have several solutions to help you do just that:


Send location-based alerts to pagers, two-way radios, and mobile phones, allowing you to prioritise real emergencies and investigate and manage false alarms to prevent unnecessary evacuations.


Providing critical alerts for deaf and hard-of-hearing people on your premises, enabling you to alert them in the event of a fire, security breach or other critical situation, via pagers and our wireless vibrating pillow pad.


Staff pagers offer instant, reliable communication in locations where other messaging technology may struggle to receive coverage. Cost-effective, easy to use, and discreet, they’re ideal for sending messages amongst staff and management, ensuring effective communication. Our staff paging systems integrate with other CST products, providing an end-to-end solution in fire safety, false alarms, security, and service.

Two-Way Radio

Our two-way radios are a simple way to maintain contact across sites, large or small.


Get in touch today to learn more about how you can prevent unnecessary evacuations.