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An examination has been made of the frequency and reasons for the occurrence of false calls made by automatic fire detection systems. These appear to be about 11 times as frequent as calls to genuine fires. About one quarter of false calls are attributed to ambient conditions, one half to mechanical and electrical problems and about 17 per cent to failure in or misuse of the communications systems. Where automatic systems are installed about 68 per cent of calls to genuine fires are made by them.