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False alarm prevention 
False alarm prevention 

Reducing the likelihood of unwanted false alarm activations is a process thatprogresses with the life of the building, starting at the design stage through to the occupation of the building. Each person must take responsibility in reducing the possibility of an unwanted activation. The most common source of unwanted false alarm activations are:

  • Lack of appropriate ventilation
  • Working environment
  • Alarm faults
  • Building contractors
  • Malicious activity.

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Building design

A badly-designed building can often create unwanted false alarms. Lack of ventilation or extraction systems, or installing smoke reservoirs in kitchen areas can cause false alarm activations. The building designer should consider the use of the building and the daily living of occupants, particularly in apartment buildings, to prevent unwanted false alarm activations.

Fire alarm systems should be chosen to be specifically fit for purpose so when the building is occupied the occupants are not continually disturbed by unwanted false alarms.


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Suitability of the fire alarm system

The fire alarm system needs to suit the purpose of the building. Putting smoke detection in places like kitchens, bathrooms, or places with a lot of dust that will cause unwanted false alarm activations should be avoided. Other types of detectors may be able to be considered in these environments.


Read our checklist to reduce unwanted false alarms [167Kb]

Building contractors

Third party contractors contribute to a large amount of false alarms. Building owners, building managers, and occupants should warn contractors about unwanted false alarm prevention. Any unwanted false alarm charge can be forwarded by the owner to contractors, or the person causing the unwanted false alarm activation.


Find out how building contractors can avoid unwanted false alarms [192Kb]

Fire alarm servicing companies

Contact the servicing agent for your fire alarm system for advice about reducing unwanted false alarms. Insist that the servicing company be proactive in providing advice to reduce unwanted false alarms. A short-term cost on the fire alarm system can save in the long-term as the associated costs of false alarms can be expensive.

More help from the Fire Service

If you need more help with reducing unwanted false alarms contact your local fire region’s Fire Risk Management Officer.


Find the contact details for your local fire region