Our automatic fire alarm (AFA) policy

In order to ensure that essential lifesaving operational services are effective, all policies and procedures are continually reviewed and updated.

From April 2016 Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service will change its response arrangements to fire calls generated from activation of AFA systems, this is to ensure it provides the very best service to protect the public.

The key change to the policy is that we will be adopting a ‘risk-based’ approach to calls from fire alarm monitoring organisations. The risk-based response arrangements will focus on the most vulnerable people in our communities, enhancing the response to many premises.

Fire control operators will still apply a robust and effective call challenge to all requests for a fire engine. Critically, they will be seeking information to establish if the building falls into one of the identified groups, where vulnerable people live and most importantly sleep.

We will ensure that they will attend any calls which are received or detected by:

  • anyone calling 999 to confirm that the alarm is sounding because there is a fire
  • multiple detector/type activations
  • sprinkler activation

To protect those most at risk they will attend the properties below at any time during the day or night:

  • hospitals
  • residential care and nursing homes
  • other vulnerable sleeping risks/premises (i.e sheltered accommodation/assisted living).

We will attend at night (8pm to 7am) to:

  • houses of multiple occupation
  • hotels and Bed and Breakfasts
  • domestic dwellings (with smoke alarms or an automatic fire alarm)

From 1 April 2016, when we receive an AFA call and there is no further sign of a fire (smoke, sounds of crackling, and more than one detector activating) they will not respond at any time to:

  • commercial type premises
  • business type premises
  • non-sleeping risks/premises

unless a 999 call is received confirming that there is a fire or physical signs of fire.