Two communications events will be held at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service’s headquarters in Bridle Road, Bootle, in June about the new policy for Automatic Fire Alarms set to be introduced in Merseyside.

An event on June 19 will be staged for companies that receive automatic alarm calls from premises. These calls are forwarded directly to the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service control room.

On June 20, a communications event will be held for public organizations. Those who could disseminate the information to a larger audience were invited to the communications event to help raise awareness about the policy.

Owners of large premises in Merseyside, such as universities, as well as those who own major building stock, such as social landlords were invited along with council chief executives and the chambers of commerce groups from the five districts in Merseyside.

In January this year Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority approved a new risk-based approach to responding to automatic fire alarms.

MF&RS will continue to maintain a full emergency response to domestic premises where the responsibility for safety is with the residents.

When alarms activate at other premises, MF&RS will respond when it is confirmed as a fire or there is a reasonable belief there may be a fire.

The decision has been taken to reduce the 5,800 calls received annually to Automatic Fire Alarms (AFA) on Merseyside, 95% of which there is no fire and it is a false alarm.

These unwanted fire signals (false alarms) have increased by 13.7% over the past five years despite numerous strategies implemented by MF&RS to reduce the number of such incidents.

Unwanted fire signals account for 26.7% of all calls to the Service’s 26 community stations. At Liverpool City Community Fire Station 55% of responses are to unwanted fire signals.

There is no legal requirement for fire and rescue authorities to respond to calls originating from automatic fire systems.