Automatic Fire Alarms – Change of London Fire Brigade Policy

From 1 October 2024, the London Fire Brigade (LFB) is changing its policy on attending automatic fire alarms in commercial properties. This means LFB will no longer be attending automatic fire alarms (AFAs) in commercial properties between 7am and 8.30pm, though will still respond to all automatic fire alarms in residential buildings, schools, nurseries, hospitals, care homes, heritage sites and other exempt premises. The full list of exempt premises has been published.

LFB have clarified the following process for non-exempt commercial properties from 1 October 2024

  • If an Automatic Fire Alarm (AFA) at a commercial property 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 7am and 8.30pm, however 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.

LFB are changing their policy as in 2023/24 AFAs made up 40 per cent of all incidents the LFB attended, a total of 52,000 calls. LFB confirmed that 99% of non-residential AFAs are false alarms and LFB plan to utilise the resource saved in not attending AFAs for operational training and to increase fire prevention in local communities.

Over the coming months, in advance of the roll out of this new policy, LFB will be sharing key information and reaching out to organisations, businesses and individuals who are responsible for fire safety in buildings to make sure they understand their responsibilities and take action to be prepared for this change in policy.

For more detailed information, LFB have prepared a set of Automatic Fire Alarms – Frequently Asked Questions.

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