Varied approaches range from the reduction of non-intervention activities to the discontinuation of automated alarm transmission. Some forces are even insisting on eyewitness verification of fire before firefighting services are deployed. This inevitably leads to a delayed response, which is likely to result in any real fire spreading before firefighters arrive. This alone will surely lead to increased insurance rates to compensate for the higher risk. On occasions, the risk will possibly result not only in greater damage to property and business activities but, more importantly, in injury and even death for those unfortunate enough to be involved. So, the reduced budgets for our firefighting services could well prove far more costly in other terms, if we are unable to find better ways to optimize today’s generally more limited resources. The fire industry is, of course, working to minimize such ‘unwanted’ events.
Apart from the continuous development of better solutions, measures include specific programs for owners and operators, the modernization of older systems and the advocating of regular maintenance. A recent study into the practices of fire services in selected European countries came about as an attempt to better understand the problem of false alarms in a reference period of ten years (2000–2010) and to identify examples of ‘Best Practice’. The focus of the study was on those fire systems with an automatic alarm transmission, either direct or routed via an alarm-receiving station.