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Fire change to provide better response

By Martin Chapman on Friday, 23rd April 2004.

New plans by Suffolk Fire Service being introduced on May 1st, will effect how fire crews respond to automatic fire alarm activations, following new evidence that shows most are false alarms

In 2002 to 2003, 97% of all automatic fire alarm activations attended by the fire brigade turned out to be false alarms. When the change comes into effect on May 1st Suffolk Fire Service will only send one fire engine on an emergency response, until there is a telephone call confirming a fire.

The new response coincides with a national initiative being launched by the Deputy Prime Minster’s Office which aims to tackle the growing problem of false alarms caused by automatic response systems.

According to figures from Suffolk County Council, automatic false alarms cost the UK economy almost £1 billion – yet more importantly they divert resources away from fire prevention duties and responding to real emergencies.

Suffolk Fire Service’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Ken Seager, emphasised the need for businesses to investigate the cause of automatic fire alarms.

“It is important for businesses who do have automatic fire alarms to let us know, as soon as possible if it is false alarm, or if they have a fire, so we can either call off our emergency attendance or mobilise more crews.”

He went on to say: “Most people will notice no difference at all. We will continue to attend AFAs, but with a single engine.

Any false activations reported to the fire service will still be attended by a fire crew but without an emergency response, to allow them to investigate the cause and assist in avoiding a repeat.

Haverhill Online News

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