Managing False Alarms
'Under the MFB legislation the MFB is able to recover the cost of attendance at false alarms unless the owner/occupier is able to prove they have a reasonable excuse within the meaning of the legislation.
You will be provided correspondence from the MFB if the MFB is contemplating levying a charge and you will have the opportunity to respond and to provide any documents at that time. You will also have the opportunity to appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal if you aggrieved with the decision of the MFB.
On receipt of any MFB correspondence regarding a false alarm, you should follow the instruction contained and provide any material to the MFB that may assist in determining whether a charge should be levied.
Please Note: It is important that you keep any records that relate to the activation of your fire alarm system that has been deemed a false alarm. For example, the MFB entry advice form, test and maintenance records, fire alarm monitoring- ‘alarm activation notice’
If you would like any other information regarding the above matter or if you require assistance with false alarm prevention please call the MFB’s false alarm helpdesk on 9665 4688.
Alternately you should speak to your fire maintenance company who should be able to provide advice and assistance on how to minimise unwanted false alarms.
What is a False Alarm?
A false alarm occurs when the MFB attends an incident to find there is no emergency and there is no need for their firefighting skills or other expertise.
The MFB attends a huge number of false alarm calls each year – over 14,300.
The majority of these are generated by automatic alarm systems and it is the management of these types of unwanted false alarms that the MFB promotes (The Building Code of Australia provides the following definition for 'automatic' - "designed to operate when activated by a heat, smoke or fire sensing device").
Your fire alarm system – your fire safety
It is vital to understand the significance of your fire alarm system and fire safety for all concerned – from family members to employees to the general public.
Most automatic fire alarm systems are a legal requirement, or have been installed to provide fire safety, and it is essential they operate efficiently at all times.
Unwanted false alarms reduce the effectiveness of this early warning system.
Impact of false alarms
False alarms have a very negative impact on the fire services and general public. Please click here to access reasons as to why false alarms should be reduced.
Managing or reducing False Alarms
Since 1989, the MFB has been charging for false alarms. This has provided a strong incentive for property owners and occupiers to mitigate false alarms.
For further information on false alarm charging or prevention strategies, please contact the Alarm Assessment Helpdesk on 03 9665 4688.
For information on making submissions, please click here.