Unwanted fire alarms are a problem for the fire service and the community. NFPA® estimates that fire departments respond to more than 2 million false fire alarm calls each year. According to NFPA 72®: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, an unwanted alarm is any alarm that occurs that is not the result of a potentially hazardous condition. NFPA developed the Fire Service Guide to Reducing Unwanted Fire Alarms to provide the fire service with a free resource that offers guidance in the following areas:
- Understanding commercial and residential building fire alarm systems
- Understanding single-family alarm causes
- Providing a framework for developing possible solutions
The Guide is an important tool for line firefighters, fire officers, and fire prevention personnel to provide basic knowledge on how fire alarm systems and detection devices operate and assess the cause of alarms where no emergency condition is apparent. The Guide can assist Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ's) in developing strategies to manage response to unwanted alarms thru practices reflective of risk assessment, resources management, and current Code recommendations.