January 30, 2020 10.12 am This story is over 27 months old

Businesses “use fire service as night watchman”

New guidance could reduce false alarm attendances by 5%

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue bosses say businesses are using the service as a “night watchman” and called on them to take on more responsibility when reporting fires in a bid to tackle false alarms.

False alarms equate to around 10% of call outs for the service, with more than 1,600 last year caused by fire alarms or fire equipment springing into action.

Around 53% of equipment-based false alarms over the past five years have been in non-domestic properties.

Chief Fire Officer Les Britzman told councillors at Lincolnshire County Council this week that the force was now asking owners of premises where there’s no life or community risks or hazardous materials to investigate alarms further before calling 999.

He said: “What we’re finding from some businesses is they are almost using Fire and Rescue Services as their night watchman in effect to go and check the building for them.

“However, what they should be doing is have systems in place to go and check those buildings themselves, and then if there’s a fire then obviously call the Fire and Rescue Service.”

The force hopes that by doing this, the number of false alarm attendances by the fire service could reduce by up to 5%.

“It’s really helping them meet their obligations in terms of managing their own business safely, plus the welfare of their staff and so on,” said Mr Britzman.

However, he added: “One thing to stress though is that where there is any doubt of any potential risk to life, or serious property, then we will attend.”

Further information is available on the service’s website and businesses can also visit their local fire stations for advice and guidance.

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