FIREFIGHTERS have called on businesses to reduce the number of false fire alarms which take up valuable time.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is offering safety advice as part of the National Fire Chiefs Council's (NFCC's) Business Safety Week 2019, which runs from September 9-15.

Assistant chief fire officer, Tony Hunter said: “Recently we have changed the way we respond to fire alarms, in the past GMFRS was attending over 9000 calls to fire alarms every year and 99 percent of these calls were false alarms caused by sources such as burned toast, steam from appliances or smoking within prohibited areas.

“We need businesses to work with us to reduce the number of false alarms in Greater Manchester. False alarms cause disruption to businesses and take our firefighters away from real emergencies, critical training and fire prevention activity."

For more information on the NFCC's Business Safety Week, visit:

Mr Hunter added: “This Business Safety Week we want to remind businesses to ensure they protect their property and the people in it with a fire alarm and continue to keep this in good working order. The type of fire alarm you need should be identified in your fire risk assessment, you should test and maintain the alarm including having it serviced on a regular basis and have procedures in place to evacuate when the alarm sounds. If you have problems with your fire alarm including false alarms you should seek guidance from a competent fire alarm engineer and talk to your alarm receiving centre about implementing a call back or delay on the alarm to ensure only genuine alarms go through to your receiving centre.”

“GMFRS will always attend in an emergency but for most businesses we will not respond to fire alarms between 08:00 – 17:00 unless it is confirmed there is a fire”