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How much are false fire alarms costing you every day?

12 August 2019

False fire alarms cost money

They disrupt everyday activities, which can have a huge impact on business output and add to costs.

In retail premises, false fire alarms might even result in customers having to be turned away. Or, in the case of a hotel suffering frequent false alarms, day or night, guests may choose to stay elsewhere.

The additional stress caused to staff is another issue. Even worse: false fire alarms can lead to complacent staff, who may be less inclined to speedily evacuate the building, which could be a real danger in the case of an actual fire.

Avoidable Problems

Among the host of other avoidable problems caused by false fire alarms are increased insurance costs and fines to recover costs to the fire service for wasted time and resources. 

In the year in 2017/18, the Fire and Rescue Service attended 564,827 incidents. Of these, fires accounted for 30% of incidents, non-fires 30% of incidents, while the remaining 40% were false fire alarms.

In fact, every year since 2004/05 the largest incident type has been fire false alarms.

The Fire Industry Association estimate that these such false alarms cost the UK over £1 billion in public funding every year.

Poor Cable Insulation

One cause of false fire alarms is damage to fire alarm cables. In particular, fire resistant cables with soft silicone insulation can be prone to accidental damage after installation, particularly when these cables are installed in a congested service riser, crowded ceiling void or cramped plantroom. Such faults can be notoriously difficult to locate.

While soft silicone insulation is permitted by the British Standard specification BS 7629-1, anyone looking for a more robust cable installation would be wise to demand that the fire alarm system utilises cables with Insudite insulation.


Insudite is an innovative, tough, highly durable and damage resistant insulation unique to the Prysmian FP range of fire resistant cables.

Both Prysmian FP200 Gold and Prysmian FP PLUS feature Insudite insulation.

FP200 Gold is a 'standard' fire resistant cable, as defined by fire alarm and emergency lighting British Standards, and the original alternative to mineral insulated cable. It is a tough, durable and dressable essential systems cable that is easy to install and terminate.

FP PLUS is an 'enhanced', hard skin, dressable fire resistant cable most commonly needed for fire alarm and emergency lighting circuits for applications requiring prolonged fire resistance.

Significantly Greater Damage Resistance

Fire alarm cables with a hard skin of Insudite insulation have significantly greater damage resistance than those with a soft silicone skin, including greater resistance to abrasion, lower susceptibility to puncture, better resistance to cut-through and damage from blunt impacts. Because it is less susceptible to damage Insudite can help reduce the risk of false fire alarms.

Can you or your business afford not to insist on Prysmian FP for its emergency and alarm systems?

Find out mor about FP Fire Resistant Cables

Sources: Fire and rescue incident statistics: England, year ending March 2018

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