False alarms cost service millions per year

05 April 2016

Scottish fire chiefs in the Perthshire region are taking action in a bid to reduce the number of false alarm callouts faced by crews in the area, reports The Courier.

A report showed that Perthshire crews attended almost 300 false alarms between October and December last year, from a total of 1,137 in 2015.

These callouts came at an average cost of nearly £2000 a time to the fire service, amounting to over £11 million wasted in the last five years.

In a bid to resolve the problem, fire chiefs have taken to writing to to several businesses, including hospitals and hotels, offering specific advice on how to avoid further alarms.

Owners have been instructed to clear dust from their detection systems and remove any nearby air fresheners in a bid to prevent automatic triggering of false alarms.

Area commander Colin Grieve said: “On-scene investigations by responding crews continue to be routinely undertaken in an attempt to understand reasons for activations, whereby fire service managers challenge duty holders to be proactive in the reduction of such incidents.

“Our experience informs us that there’s generally a responsible attitude towards reducing these incidents.”

He said: “Premises have been identified that have a high number of unwanted fire alarm signals (UFAS) calls and the owner or occupier has been advised, by way of a letter, that corrective measures require to be taken to reduce the number of times the fire service has to attend the premises.”

Perth City Centre councillor Peter Barrett said: “The service deals with a five-year average of around 300 UFAS every quarter, with the vast majority of these coming from larger premises. It is important for the owners and operators to maintain their alarm systems properly.

“These systems can be complex but basic housekeeping to keep detectors dust free can make a significant reduction in UFAS.”

Original source

The Courier