Charges for Bridlington companies with faulty fire alarms

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service

Businesses whose faulty alarms repeatedly lead to call outs for emergency crews could be charged for wasting firefighters’ times under new rules.

Humberside Fire Authority voted last week to allow the fire service to bill companies who persistently cause unnecessary call-outs from October.

Members also voted that crews will only attend alarms at businesses during normal working hours, if there is confirmation of a fire at the premises.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service receives more than 1400 false alarm calls every year from businesses and organisations that are an unnecessary drain on emergency service resources.

It said that between 2015 and 2017, only 14% of call-outs to commercial premises were actual fires which required an emergency attendance.

Authority members said it was hard to justify sending out fire engines to false alarms, given the current financial situation.

Paul McCourt, HFRS director of service delivery, said: “This has been a large project to put forward the case for making these changes, but the positive public response to our consultation and the detailed consideration given by the Members has ensured we have a solid base from which to proceed.

“Over the next six months, we will fine-tune the policies to ensure that Control staff, operational crews and the local business community are fully aware of the changes and that we continue to work together to make workplaces as safe as they can be.

“The option to charge businesses that continually fail to maintain their alarm systems correctly is a significant step forward in line with many other services. However, helping businesses to reduce the number of alarm activations will remain our primary focus.”