MDNW staff were at an emergency planning day run by Harwell a couple of weeks ago (ironically the day of the storms and flash floods) and we were surprised to learn that many individual fire services have recently changed the way in which they respond to AFAs (automatic fire alarms) both during and outside of normal working hours and that many museums aren’t aware of the changes to policy.
Each of the fire services in the North West now requires confirmation of a fire for a full response, but each service operates slightly differently in how, when and under what circumstances it will respond. Use the links below for general information to check the situation for your museum, but we recommend contacting your local fire station to confirm the response you’ll get to AFAs and then amend your emergency planning procedures if needed.
Many museums use monitoring stations but this is not necessarily sufficient to elicit a response if your fire alarms sound. If you have a monitoring station we recommend also talking to them to ensure that interface response is fully understood and any call out process is effective given all the circumstances (open/closed/day/night/weekend).
Greater Manchester Fire