More than 3,000 false fire alarms were maliciously triggered across England in 2017/18 – disrupting schools and businesses, placing unnecessary strain on our emergency services and reducing the confidence the general public have in alarms.
The latest Home Office figures reveal that; there were a total of 3,029 false alarms caused by a ‘malicious activation of fire call point/alarm’ in England for the period July 1 2017 to June 30 2018, an increase of 160 on the previous year, and the highest figure seen for over 5 years.
Accidental activations also saw an increase during this period; 14,199 false fire alarms were recorded due to a manual call point being ‘accidentally or carelessly’ set off, a significant increase of 472 false alarms and again the highest number since 2012.
A further 782 false alarms were recorded due to damage to the apparatus for the year ending June 2018, up from 750 on the previous year.
Continuing to be the largest incident type, false fire alarms accounted for 41 per cent of the incidents attended by Fire and Rescue Services in England – fires accounted for just 29 per cent.
Costing the UK an estimated £1 billion a year, false fire alarms continue to be a major issue heading into 2019; but what can be done to prevent this number from growing further?
The Call Point Stopper® is a protective cover ideal for areas at risk of accidental activation. The clear UV-stabilised polycarbonate cover does not restrict legitimate operation of vulnerable call points, with a single hinge mechanism to access the call point.
A Call Point Stopper placed over a fire alarm call point located next to a green electronic door release call point helps to distinguish between the two devices and prevent unwanted operation when the door release is needed.
If in addition to accidental activation there is also a threat of malicious activation, whereby a call point is triggered in order to raise a false alarm, the Euro Stopper® provides a versatile solution. The tamper-proof Euro Stopper retrofits over call points, protecting against wayward sports equipment, stray shopping trolleys, misguided hospital beds and other accidental activations.
The added benefit of an integral sounder also defends against malicious activation – when the cover is lifted the 96 dB sounder emits a piercing alarm drawing immediate attention to the area. This acts both as a deterrent to those looking to raise a malicious alarm, as well as an additional alarm in an emergency situation without hindering legitimate operation of the call point.
If further protection is still required, the Universal Stopper® provides IP56 protection from the elements with a tough outer dome that can withstand the severest of knocks from any direction – a 96 dB sounder can also defend against malicious activation.
Conforming up to IP66, the Enviro Stopper® offers the same UV-stabilised polycarbonate protection with an optional localised alarm, whilst guarding against ingress such as dust, dirt and grime in harsh environments.
STI also stock a large and varied range of plastic coated heavy-duty steel cages which have been specifically designed to protect vital life safety apparatus, such as smoke detectors, from harm – preventing false fire alarms and maintaining working order in case of a real emergency.
For further information on how STI’s range of polycarbonate protective covers can help reduce the high number of false alarms, contact; firstname.lastname@example.org, call +44 (0)1527 520 999 or visit www.sti-emea.com.