Changes to attendance at automatic fire alarm activations

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Fire alarm activations at 21,000 non-residential addresses across the county will no longer get an automatic response from Cambs Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS).

A massive 98 per cent of all calls to automatic fire alarms prove to be false alarms, so from June 1, 2013, CFRS will no longer respond between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, unless there has been a 999 call.

Letters have been sent to the 21,000 premises affected explaining the changes. Premises such as hospitals, schools, residential care and flats above four storeys will be exempt from the changes.

Rick Hylton, Area Commander for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Over 20,000 businesses/organisations will be affected and letters have been posted to these addresses to inform them. At these addresses, only confirmed fires will be attended by a fire engine between the hours of 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. We will continue attending automatically outside of these hours.

“The reason we have made the change is because these types of call place an additional burden on our resources and can delay us from attending genuine emergencies.

“Data over the last five years shows that 98 per cent of all calls to automatic fire alarms prove to be false alarms. A fire alarm’s primary function is to notify the occupants of a potential problem, not to contact the fire service. Premises should have in place systems to respond to a fire alarm and contact the fire service if needed.”

If organisations are unsure if the changes affect them, need further information, or want to get in contact, they can find out more via the fire service website www.cambsfire.gov.uk or by emailing feedback@cambsfire.gov.uk