Who is Inspector Sands and why does he receive so many announcements?

I travel a lot on the London Underground system and in recent weeks I have heard several announcements calling on Inspector Sands to go to the control room. What’s all this about?

The Inspector Sands voice message is an automated message which is activated when the station fire alarm sounds. The message gives staff an opportunity to investigate why the fire alarm is operating. It is a safety mechanism that has been agreed with the London Fire Brigade and is the same system used in major national rail stations and airports in the UK.

When the fire alarm is being tested, or when a fire alarm has been triggered (up to 90% of these are false alarms), the automated voice message calls Inspector Sands to wherever the affected alarm is. Station staff then have a specified period of time to investigate before a full evacuation is triggered.

The Inspector Sands message exists so that London Underground can get staff prepared to carry out certain safety related activities but without causing unnecessary alarm for customers.

So don’t panic!


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