Skip to content

Fire Safety For Businesses

At SBRC, we are delighted to work collaboratively with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to provide advice and guidance to businesses.

As part of this, Watch Commander Gary Wood from SFRS is currently seconded to our team as a Senior Business Resilience Adviser.

With 30 years’ experience in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Gary’s unique expertise is essential for providing business resilience advice to our members and partners.

Fire safety

Unwanted Fire Alarm Signals

Unwanted Fire Alarm Signals, also known as UFAS remains a considerable issue for commercial properties and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service alike.

False alarms result in approximately 27 minutes of business interruption time and a financial impact of an average of £848 per incident to a business.

The cost to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to attend each UFAS incident is approximately £1970 but not only that, false alarms impact upon SFRS operational resilience in terms of resources available to attend more serious incidents, they impact negatively upon our operational training effectiveness and community safety initiatives as well as increasing risk to members of the public and our fire crews on the road travelling to UFAS incidents.

Fire safety


Attending UFAS incidents also needlessly increase the carbon footprint of the service due to fire appliance movements.

Your business can reduce UFAS incidents by:

  • Reviewing your FSRA – Fire Safety Risk Assessment and Fire Alarm logbook to determine your UFAS figures
  • Create an action plan to reduce the chance of any UFAS occurring by:
  • Checking detector types and their locations – would moving them make a difference to activations? Is the system installed of a suitable type and appropriate to risk?
  • Upgrading AFD – automatic fire detection systems that are obsolete with more modern technology e.g. ‘multi-sensor’ detectors
  • Can manual call points be fitted with an inexpensive plastic cover in problem, vulnerable or high traffic areas?
  • Ascertain whether any UFAS are a result of activating the wrong call points such as Green emergency door release points? Could these be separated better to avoid further confusion?
  • Instigating staff alarms where possible (in consultation with SFRS)
  • Keeping AFD systems appropriately maintained
  • Consider whether a link to an ARC – Alarm Receiving Centre is actually necessary
  • Seeking further guidance and advice from their AFD provider or servicing agent as well as their local SFRS legislative fire safety officer

Ensuring staff are aware of UFAS and how they can help reduce activations is an effective way of reducing incidents.

You can contact Watch Manager Gary Wood SFRS at the Scottish Business Resilience Centre for further guidance on UFAS affecting your business: [email protected]