Automatic fire alarms

in commercial buildings

Our policy for AFAs in commercial buildings is changing.

Starting from October, we will stop attending automatic fire alarms in most commercial buildings between 7am & 8:30pm. This includes office blocks or industrial estates, during daytime hours – unless we receive a call reporting a fire.

In 2023/24 AFAs made up 40 per cent of all LFB incidents attended – 52,000 calls. Less than one per cent of calls from non-residential AFAs are ultimately recorded as fires – the 99 per cent majority are false alarms.

Because we're reducing the amount of time & resources spent going to Unwanted Fire Signals (UwFS) - it gives us more time & resources to focus on other priorities, such as, increasing fire prevention in your community & freeing up our Fire Fighters to go to real emergencies.

This policy won't apply to all buildings. Schools, residential buildings and many other types of buildings are exempt. You need to check if you are or aren't exempt.

 

Is your building exempt?

I am a Responsible Person for a commercial building: what do I need to know?

Our new policy applies to certain non-residential buildings, business & workplaces. If a building you are responsible for, and not on the exemption list, you will need to do the following:

  • If an Automatic Fire Alarm (AFA) is triggered during day-time hours, you will need to confirm via 999, that there is a fire in your premises.
  • You should review your fire risk assessment and make sure it is up to date.
  • The London Fire Brigade will still attend AFAs between 7:00 & 8:30pm.

LFB will only send a response to confirmed fires in commercial buildings during daytime hours if a fire is confirmed or the premises are exempt from this policy.

I am a Responsible Person for an exempt building: what do I need to know?

If your premises is exempt from this policy, then ensure the person responsible for calling LFB via 999 in the event of a fire, is aware of the exemption and can relay that information to LFB in that call.

Please note that all AFA calls to fire in commercial buildings between 7:00 am & 8:30 pm, will be subject to consideration before any emergency response is made, so please ensure the advice above is clearly understood by your call operators and do not assume any exemptions.

 

Need to know more?

Read more about our AFAs in commercial buildings policy here