01 July 2014


At its meeting on 25 June 2014, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority agreed two proposals for consultation, which will form the Service’s Integrated Risk Management Action Plan for 2014/15.
1. Changes to the response to automatic fire alarms
In 2013/14 the North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service attended 1900 calls to automatic fire alarm activations that turned out to be false alarms – around 24% of all their incidents. It is proposing not to attend between 8am and 6pm at properties where people do not sleep unless a fire has actually been confirmed. 
If a call is received from a significant heritage site, a manufacturing plant at high risk or a building where people sleep, only one engine will be sent at all times. At the moment one engine attends during the day and two at night.
“Attendance at these false alarms means that fire service staff and resources are not available to attend fires or other emergencies, or are taken away from essential training or prevention (community safety) work,” a spokesman for the Service commented.
2. Changes to charges for special service calls
The authority also plans to cease charging for special service calls – incidents that do not involve fire or emergency medical assistance, such as freeing trapped animals and birds or pumping water from flooded buildings.
NYF&RS says: “As there is often an expectation from other organisations and members of the public that we will assist at non-emergency calls and because we want to aid public safety and well-being, we are now proposing; to cease charging for humanitarian special service calls of a non-emergency nature where the aim is to protect and support public safety and wellbeing.”
The consultation will run until 5 September 2014. More information and feedbacks surveys are available at www.northyorksfire.gov.uk
Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.