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Gatwick Airport reduces false Fire Alarms

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Following a successful campaign to reduce false fire alarms, Gatwick Airport Ltd called on BRE experts to review its false alarm data and identify ways of further cutting these incidents.

Gatwick Airport has been investigating and addressing its false alarms events and has reduced passenger evacuations by 70% over a five-year period.

BRE’s review of the data found that the remaining causes of false alarms were varied, local and low in frequency. A number of specific and general recommendations were made to help reduce further false alarms. An operational process was also proposed. This could help Gatwick Airport to address the remaining causes -implementing solutions that may proactively reduce the chances of further false alarms.

Raman Chagger, Principal Consultant in Fire Detection at BRE said, “Gatwick Airport has done a superb job of reducing false alarms and the disruption caused by unwanted evacuations. I really hope that the guidance provided by BRE will help the Airport to reduce these false alarms further.”

Roger Gentle, Gatwick Airport’s Fire Safety Manager said, “We had identified that the downward trend of false alarms was saturating and wanted independent, reliable and technical guidance to see if further reductions were possible. The comments and recommendations made by BRE have been most helpful in that they confirm that our approach to further reducing unwanted fire alarm activations is sound. BRE has also provided recommendations for further reducing these events that we will most certainly pursue. Unwanted activations are disruptive to our customers, damaging for our reputation, time consuming and costly to all those involved. At Gatwick we are determined to eliminate as many of these events as possible.”

The findings from two research studies on false alarms performed by BRE are available for free from: