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09 January 2023
The service automatically goes to fire alarm activations for buildings including hospitals, nursing homes, sheltered housing, flats and heritage sites.
But it wants to stop going to some calls because the vast majority are false alarms, which cost money and resources at a time service budgets are under pressure.
Hospitals across the city and county account for 10% of all ‘unwanted fire signals’ — these include incidents such as problems with light fittings, microwaves, cotton bud fires and overheated extractor fans.
But concerns were raised over the plans at a Fire Authority Community Safety meeting on Friday (January 6).
The authority is a body of local councillors and fire officers which monitors the service’s performance and spending.
After raising concerns about the plan, councillors agreed to support a consultation with the hospitals before it goes any further.
The service says it will save about £300 for every false alarm it does not go out to.
The hospitals said in a joint statement that they have “well-tested plans in place” to deal with incidents.
During the meeting, the regional chairman of the Fire Brigades’ Union, Mark Stilwell, said the consequences could be devastating if the fire service did not attend automatic alarms immediately.
He added: “There is very little to no financial savings in making these changes.
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