Reduced response to automatic alarms

BUSINESSES are being reminded that Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) will no longer be responding to automatic fire alarms from February 28.

Crews will no longer be responding to certain calls originating from automatic fire alarms in offices or factories, or to calls from telephone kiosks where the caller dials 999 and abandons the call by hanging up.

The move, says the service, is designed to reduce risks to the public by ensuring firefighters are more often available for real emergencies.

ECFRS says that 97 per cent of all calls to automatic fire alarms are false and the decision has been taken to ‘ensure its operational resoruces are used effectively’.

Chief fire officer David Johnson said that domestic tax payers should not bear the burden of industrial or commercial premises failing to maintain their automatic fire alarms.

He said: “I am sure that home owners and businesses would rather our fire crews and appliances are ready to respond to their real emergencies, rather than them not being available because they are sitting outside factories or offices dealing with yet another of the thousands of false alarms that the service gets on a yearly basis.”

All Essex businesses have been sent a flyer detailing the new arrangements so that everyone is aware of their responsibilities in maintaining effective alarm systems.

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