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QFRS Home > Building Fire Safety > Unwanted Alarms

Unwanted Alarms

An unwanted alarm is defined as an emergency alarm signalled at a time when the Commissioner is satisfied there was no emergency requiring the attendance of the fire service.

The QFRS responds to over 19,000 unwanted alarm activations from monitored fire alarm systems per year. This creates a high burden on the community in the form of building occupant complacency generated from exposure to excessive unwanted alarm activations and the high financial burden of business interruption.

The QFRS is committed to working in partnership with key stakeholders to reduce community complacency towards unwanted alarms. For more information, download the Managing Your Unwanted Fire Alarms Brochure.

To assist in managing your unwanted alarm activations, the QFRS has compiled a Checklist to Help Reduce Unwanted Alarms. More detail is also included in these Unwanted Alarms Frequently Asked Questions.

The QFRS has further information for Building Industry Professionals, including an outline of the Pragmatic Cooking and Shower Test process.

Unwanted Alarms Charging

The QFRS charges for attendance at unwanted alarms to encourage building owners or occupiers to be continually proactive in managing fire alarm systems. They are empowered to do so under the Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990 s144 Charge for services.

Under the conditions of the Alarm Monitoring Agreement, the charge for attending unwanted alarm activations is made against the applicant for the Agreement (i.e. the building owner). In the 2013-14 financial year, this charge is $1,092.95. It is important to note that the amount charged does not cover the actual costs incurred by the QFRS for attendance at any unwanted alarm activation. The charge recovers less than 25 percent of the estimated full cost of attending an unwanted alarm activation.

The QFRS does not endorse ‘on-charging’ alarm attendance charges to tenants / occupants or contractors unless the third party has engaged in reckless or negligent behaviour.

Last updated 27 August 2013