Hertfordshire firefighters to respond differently to automatic alarms

16:44 25 March 2014

Archant

Firefighters will respond differently to automatic fire alarms from next week.

Starting on Tuesday, April 1, Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service will not respond to automatic fire alarm systems in business premises between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, unless a fire is confirmed by a 999 call.

The change is the result of an ongoing concern with the large number of false alarms from automatic systems which in the past have seen fire engines visiting buildings when there was no fire.

Chief fire officer and director of community protection Roy Wilsher said: “Attending false alarm calls not only increases the risk to the public, with fire engines driving on blue lights for no good reason, but also means that equipment and crews aren’t available for genuine emergency calls.

“Obviously we will still respond to genuine emergencies and 999 calls. However this change of policy will mean that we spend less time responding to false alarms and more time available to deal with fires when they do break out.”

The fire service will continue to respond to automatic alarms overnight and at weekends, when premises are typically unoccupied. Alarms from premises which contain vulnerable people such as hospitals, hostels, care homes and schools are not affected by this new policy.

Richard Thake, cabinet member for community safety at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “False alarms don’t do business owners any favours either. We are working closely with premises that have repeatedly been the source false alarms to help them understand why that’s happening and to improve their systems.

“We’re hopeful that this new policy will substantially cut the number of false alarms we attend, but if we still find we’re getting a lot false alarms from a particular building we might have to look at charging that business for our time.”

Fire inspection officers will continue to work with building planners and owners to ensure that suitable alarm systems are fitted and that they are properly maintained and working.

For more information on the new policy visit www.hertsdirect.org and search for ‘fire and rescue service’.

0 comments

More news stories

08:32
Callum Atkins, 8, Jonathan Lewinton-Wilson, 7, Izzy Arnott, 8, Headteacher Tara McGovern, Megan McGloin, 7, pictured with their new school mosaic

Visitors to a village school can now marvel at a mosaic created by pupils, staff and members of the community that welcomes them to the entrance hall.

Yesterday, 12:02
Victims are being urged to come forward if they experience any form of domestic abuse.

Valentine’s Day is globally recognised as the day to be spoilt by the one you love, but Hertfordshire’s County Community Safety Unit is asking you to consider how you are being ‘treated’ tomorrow, to raise awareness of domestic abuse and coercive control.

Yesterday, 10:01
Peter Chand wows the crowd with Grimms' Sheesha

The team behind this year’s Fireside Festival are hoping to bring a bit of heat to Baldock over the winter months.

Yesterday, 08:26
Settlement Players production of A Servant to Two Masters, February 2016. Smereldina and Pantaloon

One Man, Two Guvnors has been one of the biggest stage hits of recent years – but what about the 18th century farce that inspired it?

”North

Most read stories

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Royston Crow e-edition E-edition