Fighting false fire alarms

There has been an 80% reduction in false alarms from student halls of residence at the University of Glasgow.

The University joined up with The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and student accommodation provider Sanctuary Students to educate students on how to avoid unnecessary false alarms at the student lodgings.

Students are now required to have an induction before moving into the premises that highlight the main causes of false alarms. In addition, ‘smart detector’ smoke alarms were installed in the halls, which feature multiple sensors to detect smoke, heat and carbon monoxide. The alarms require two of these sensors to be triggered before they activate.

The partnership has been running for five years and firefighters were called to 89 false alarms at student halls during the past 12 months, which is significantly down from 2009/10 figures when 456 incidents were recorded.

The University has been praised by the Fire Risk Management Journal for the huge improvement.

Andy Mackay, Fire Safety Manager at the University of Glasgow said: “False alarms caused through negligence result in unnecessary interruption for the University’s staff, students and visitors; as well as diverting the valuable resources of the Fire and Rescue Service away from the community.

“It is in everyone’s interest that we act responsibly and work in partnership to eradicate false alarms whenever possible. This partnership shows what can be achieved through positive action.” 

SFRS  area manager George McGrandles said: “Historically, false alarms from halls of residence have been a considerable drain on the city’s fire and rescue resources, but this close partnership is clearly producing real results.”


First published: 27 May 2015

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