Residents asked to reduce false alarms
In the past 12 months Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) has attended more than 400 false alarms at homes with automatic fire alarms, and now ask residents to inform 999 as soon as the alarm is falsely activated.
GFRS have been called to 442 false alarms over the past 12 months as a result of automatic fire alarms being accidently activated.
Attending false alarms from automatic fire alarms takes resources away when they are needed in a real emergency so residents are being reminded of the below points:
- If the automatic alarm has been activated accidentally (e.g. cooking fumes, steam, dust) or due to a fault with the alarm, dial 999 and inform the fire control room, to stop a fire engine from being dispatched.
- If the alarm is linked to a call centre, please ensure that it has your current telephone number (including a mobile telephone number), so that you are contactable to ensure you are safe and well, in the event of alarm activation.
- Inform the alarm call centre if an alarm engineer is testing or maintaining the fire alarm system.
The most common false alarms in domestic properties are due to cooking fumes and technical faults with the alarm system.
Despite these false alarms, fire alarms are designed to give early warning in the event of a fire. If you have discovered a fire, dial 999 immediately and evacuate everyone from the property.
Stewart Edgar, chief fire officer & operations director for GFRS, said: "False alarms can divert us from attending real emergencies. This is why we're asking residents to make sure that they contact us immediately if the false alarm is automatically linked to a call centre."
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire and rescue said: "The fire service is a vital part of our county's emergency response team. It is important that they respond to real emergencies and we would encourage everyone to ensure their fire alarms are working correctly to avoid false alarms."
For more guidance on reducing calls to false alarms visit http://www.glosfire.gov.uk/csafety_fa_whatare.html