False Alarms or Real Emergency?

Every year thousands of calls come in for automatic fire alarms. Many of these calls turn out to be false alarms. These calls have increased because many new codes require buildings to have alarm systems installed as well as many older building being retrofitted to meet new occupancy requirements. Even though many of these turn out to be false calls, those firefighters responding should treat each alarm as if it was a fire. It is a fire until firefighters say it’s not a fire. This means firefighters should respond to the call with full P.P.E. donned and start to form a strategy for fire attack.  Many agencies now respond with only a single resource. This means that once on scene the need to call for additional resource may arise if the alarm is found to be a working fire. Treating each alarm as a working fire means that firefighters won’t get caught with their pants down, bunker pants that is.