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Automatic Fire Alarms: changes to the Scottish Fire & Rescue Policy


Fire and smoke alarms: changes to the Scottish Fire & Rescue policy


A change in the way the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service (SFRS) attends automatic fire alarms (AFAs) is coming into force on July 1.                           

From July, SFRS will only respond to AFAs in commercial buildings if there is a confirmed fire or signs of a fire. 

The change, which will bring Scotland in line with much of the UK, is aimed at minimising unnecessary callouts and disruptions to the public while ensuring an enhanced response to genuine fire incidents. Fire engines will still be automatically sent out to any buildings where people could be sleeping, such as care homes, hospitals and domestic dwellings. 


Chubb’s integrated fire safety solutions bring state-of-the-art technology to ensure rapid detection of any fire.   


Round-the-clock monitoring and emergency response services from our Alarm Response Centres provide an additional layer of protection. 

Trained professionals constantly monitor your premises for any signs of a fire, swiftly alerting the authorities and dispatching resources to deal with the situation.

Our experts will guide you through your options to ensure your premises stay connected and protected.


For more information,
read our blog

Other services that complement around-the-clock protection

Fire Alarm Monitoring

The fire alarm monitoring service provided by Chubb gives you the confidence that your premise is protected when you need it most.

Fire alarm monitoring doesn’t rely on people in the building or passersby to raise the alarm. A signal is sent to our dedicated monitoring centre operators, who alert the fire services.

Fire Risk Assessments

Chubb provides expert fire risk assessments for business premises to give you confidence in your workplace safety. You must ensure that regular fire risk assessments are carried out to keep everyone safe.


How you can help to reduce false or unwanted alarms


As the dutyholder, it is your responsibility to maintain the facilities and equipment provided as per the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005. Failure to fulfil this responsibility can result in prosecution.

The SFRS fully endorses the utilisation of automatic fire alarm systems, provided that they are effectively managed and maintained to minimise false alarms and ensure their timely activation and appropriate response.

Other key steps include:

  • Review your Fire Safety Risk Assessment and keep a log of all false alarms to identify any trends which should be raised with your fire alarm engineers
  • Create an action plan to reduce the chance of any false alarms occurring
  • Check detector types and their locations – would moving detectors or changing the type used reduce activations? Seek advice from your alarm engineer.
  • Upgrade automatic fire detection (AFD) systems that are obsolete with more modern technology such as ‘multi-sensing’ detectors
  • Fit manual call points with protective plastic covers in problem, vulnerable or high-traffic areas
  • Ascertain whether any false alarms are a result of activating the wrong call points, such as green emergency door release points
  • Keep AFD systems appropriatelymaintained
  • Consider linking to Chubb’s Alarm Receiving Centre for monitoring ad appropriate response.