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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 QFES responds to around 18,000 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 b​urden of business interruption.

The QFES 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 QFES has compiled a Checklist to Help Reduce Unwanted Alarms. More detail is also included in these Unwanted Alarms Frequently Asked Questions.

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

The QFES has the following policy for the use of an ​Alarm Investigation Facility.

Unwanted Alarms Charging

The QFES 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 Emergency Services Act 1990 Part 11 Charges 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 2017-18 financial year, this charge is $1,254.10. It is important to note that the amount charged does not cover the actual costs incurred by the QFES 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 QFES does not endorse ‘on-charging’ alarm attendance charges to tenants / occupants or contractors unless the third party has engaged in reckless or negligent behaviour.