Fire fighters will no longer respond to automated business alarms during the week

Picture from stock

Picture from stock

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

The fire service has announced they will no longer respond to calls from automatic fire alarms in business premises during the week, after concerns with the large number of false alarms.

From April 1 Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service will not respond to calls from alarm systems in business premises between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday, unless a fire is confirmed by a 999 call.

Chief fire officer and director of community protection Roy Wilsher said "Attending false alarm calls not only increases the risk to the public, with fire engines driving on blue lights for no good reason, but also means that equipment and crews aren’t available for genuine emergency calls.

"Obviously we will still respond to genuine emergencies and 999 calls. However this change of policy will mean that we spend less time responding to false alarms and more time available to deal with fires when they do break out."

The fire service will continue to respond to automatic alarms overnight and at weekends, when premises are typically unoccupied. Alarms from premises which contain vulnerable people such as hospitals, hostels, care homes and schools are not affected by this new policy.

For more information visit www.hertsdirect.org.

Comments (8)

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2:56pm Wed 26 Mar 14

TRT says...

I hope they check the automated call against a list of business closure times rather than simply blanket Mon-Fri 9-5. Not all businesses operate those hours, you know.
I hope they check the automated call against a list of business closure times rather than simply blanket Mon-Fri 9-5. Not all businesses operate those hours, you know. TRT
  • Score: 3

8:26pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Nascot says...

TRT wrote:
I hope they check the automated call against a list of business closure times rather than simply blanket Mon-Fri 9-5. Not all businesses operate those hours, you know.
Your suggestion as to how they would do that if you please.
[quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: I hope they check the automated call against a list of business closure times rather than simply blanket Mon-Fri 9-5. Not all businesses operate those hours, you know.[/p][/quote]Your suggestion as to how they would do that if you please. Nascot
  • Score: -2

10:38pm Wed 26 Mar 14

LSC says...

My work pays an annual fee to an alarm company to alert the Fire Service and send them out if it is activated, 24/7/365.
Will I be seeing a discount I wonder?
My work pays an annual fee to an alarm company to alert the Fire Service and send them out if it is activated, 24/7/365. Will I be seeing a discount I wonder? LSC
  • Score: 3

12:17pm Thu 27 Mar 14

garston tony says...

LSC wrote:
My work pays an annual fee to an alarm company to alert the Fire Service and send them out if it is activated, 24/7/365. Will I be seeing a discount I wonder?
And if that alarm goes off when there is no fire yet the brigade attend would your firm pay for their wasted time?

Swings and roundabouts isnt it
[quote][p][bold]LSC[/bold] wrote: My work pays an annual fee to an alarm company to alert the Fire Service and send them out if it is activated, 24/7/365. Will I be seeing a discount I wonder?[/p][/quote]And if that alarm goes off when there is no fire yet the brigade attend would your firm pay for their wasted time? Swings and roundabouts isnt it garston tony
  • Score: 1

12:17pm Thu 27 Mar 14

garston tony says...

TRT wrote:
I hope they check the automated call against a list of business closure times rather than simply blanket Mon-Fri 9-5. Not all businesses operate those hours, you know.
But if the business was open then someone would be there and able to call 999 wouldnt they
[quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: I hope they check the automated call against a list of business closure times rather than simply blanket Mon-Fri 9-5. Not all businesses operate those hours, you know.[/p][/quote]But if the business was open then someone would be there and able to call 999 wouldnt they garston tony
  • Score: 0

2:12pm Thu 27 Mar 14

TRT says...

garston tony wrote:
TRT wrote:
I hope they check the automated call against a list of business closure times rather than simply blanket Mon-Fri 9-5. Not all businesses operate those hours, you know.
But if the business was open then someone would be there and able to call 999 wouldnt they
*sigh*
That's the point. If you automatically assume that, say, a warehouse facility that opens at 1am and closes at 9am once the lorries have been loaded and sent out, is occupied 9-5 Monday to Friday, but in fact it isn't, then you could let an unoccupied building burn to the ground because it might have been a false alarm. If there's no-one there to pick up the phone and confirm the alarm then it's not going to be confirmed. What about hundreds of small businesses that operate, say, a builders yard? They open up at 7am, set off at 8am, pop back during the day to collect tools and materials or for breaks or paperwork etc, leaving the yard unattended.
[quote][p][bold]garston tony[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: I hope they check the automated call against a list of business closure times rather than simply blanket Mon-Fri 9-5. Not all businesses operate those hours, you know.[/p][/quote]But if the business was open then someone would be there and able to call 999 wouldnt they[/p][/quote]*sigh* That's the point. If you automatically assume that, say, a warehouse facility that opens at 1am and closes at 9am once the lorries have been loaded and sent out, is occupied 9-5 Monday to Friday, but in fact it isn't, then you could let an unoccupied building burn to the ground because it might have been a false alarm. If there's no-one there to pick up the phone and confirm the alarm then it's not going to be confirmed. What about hundreds of small businesses that operate, say, a builders yard? They open up at 7am, set off at 8am, pop back during the day to collect tools and materials or for breaks or paperwork etc, leaving the yard unattended. TRT
  • Score: 1

2:14pm Thu 27 Mar 14

TRT says...

Nascot wrote:
TRT wrote:
I hope they check the automated call against a list of business closure times rather than simply blanket Mon-Fri 9-5. Not all businesses operate those hours, you know.
Your suggestion as to how they would do that if you please.
Require all automated alarms to give out a confirmation telephone number that the operator can call back on. If the confirmation number doesn't answer, then an appliance is dispatched.
[quote][p][bold]Nascot[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: I hope they check the automated call against a list of business closure times rather than simply blanket Mon-Fri 9-5. Not all businesses operate those hours, you know.[/p][/quote]Your suggestion as to how they would do that if you please.[/p][/quote]Require all automated alarms to give out a confirmation telephone number that the operator can call back on. If the confirmation number doesn't answer, then an appliance is dispatched. TRT
  • Score: 1

12:01am Fri 28 Mar 14

LSC says...

garston tony wrote:
LSC wrote:
My work pays an annual fee to an alarm company to alert the Fire Service and send them out if it is activated, 24/7/365. Will I be seeing a discount I wonder?
And if that alarm goes off when there is no fire yet the brigade attend would your firm pay for their wasted time?

Swings and roundabouts isnt it
Let me tell you how the system works. If the alarm is triggered, the alarm company phones 3 'keyholders', day or night. For security, this must be a land-line to a home address because it is the same system for the intruder alarm, and a person on a mobile might be on the premises with a knife to their throat and say all is well.
If the three land-lines are not answered at home addresses, which they wouldn't be between 9-5 because the person would be at work, Then a Fire Engine or the Police would be called by the alarm company on an automatic system, not a 999.

If there was a real fire, we would all be in the car park so we would need a mobile phone or to hammer on neighbours doors to do a 999 now.
I think that is worthy of a discount for the service we pay for.
[quote][p][bold]garston tony[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LSC[/bold] wrote: My work pays an annual fee to an alarm company to alert the Fire Service and send them out if it is activated, 24/7/365. Will I be seeing a discount I wonder?[/p][/quote]And if that alarm goes off when there is no fire yet the brigade attend would your firm pay for their wasted time? Swings and roundabouts isnt it[/p][/quote]Let me tell you how the system works. If the alarm is triggered, the alarm company phones 3 'keyholders', day or night. For security, this must be a land-line to a home address because it is the same system for the intruder alarm, and a person on a mobile might be on the premises with a knife to their throat and say all is well. If the three land-lines are not answered at home addresses, which they wouldn't be between 9-5 because the person would be at work, Then a Fire Engine or the Police would be called by the alarm company on an automatic system, not a 999. If there was a real fire, we would all be in the car park so we would need a mobile phone or to hammer on neighbours doors to do a 999 now. I think that is worthy of a discount for the service we pay for. LSC
  • Score: 0

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