Fire crews in Kent respond to over 2000

06 April 2018

Firefighters in Kent were sent to nearly 2,500 false alarms caused by automatic systems in the county last year.

A Freedom of Information Request by Kent Online has revealed crews were sent out more than once a week in some areas to automatic fire alarms, only to discover there was no fire.

One of the worst offending addresses was Homemead Court, a retirement home.

Cllr Steve Thompson, who represents the worst offending ward, said he often sees the fire service’s blue lights from his living room in Gravesend.

He added: “Not only is this taking away resources that could be used elsewhere, it is causing a lot of disturbance for neighbours in the area with fire engines turning up just to leave minutes later.”

KFRS spokesman Kirsty Gearey said call outs to false alarms have reduced in the last five years but these incidents can be reduced simply by “careful planning”.

She added: “We advise anyone with an automatic alarm to have them regularly serviced, and on resetting ensure the information on the panel is used to investigate the reason the detector was activated and deal with any faults.

“False alarms from automatic systems can be caused by a variety of reasons, most of which can be eliminated by careful planning.”

Gravesham Borough Council spokesman Sarah Knight said the council was working with KFRS to find “appropriate solutions” and added residents often set off the alarms while cooking and are advised to open their windows.

Having trouble with false alarms? Check out our false alarm microsite for information on how to prevent costly false alarms.

Original sources

Kent Online