NFPA: False fire alarms declined in 2009

New report shows that system malfunctions have decreased by more than 22 percent since 2000


According to new research published by the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to 2,177,000 false alarms in 2009, a decrease of 2.9 percent over the previous year.

The report, "False Alarm Activity in the U.S. 2009," indicates that false alarms due to system malfunctions, as well as malicious or mischievous calls were also down in 2009, decreasing by 8.8 percent and 3.7 percent respectively. However, unintentional calls, which includes tripping a detection device accidentally, as well as and other false alarms, such as bomb scares, saw a slight increase in 2009.

Since 2000, false alarm calls due to system malfunctions have dropped by more than 22 percent. Malicious calls have decreased by more than 41 percent since 2002.

Though unintentional calls increased by more than 150 percent between 1988 and 2008, the report says that can be attributed to an increase in the use of carbon monoxide detectors.

Click here to read the full report (PDF – 80 KB).