Nottinghamshire's firefighters attend more false alarms than fires

Nottinghamshire’s firefighters attended more false alarm incidents than actual fires last year, new figures show.

By Will Grimond
Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 12:16 pm

Home Office data shows Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service responded to 9,455 call-outs in the year to September.

Of those, 41 per cent were a result of false alarms, while just 33 per cent were for actual fires.

False alarms to the service last year included 108 deemed ‘malicious’, such as fake or hoax calls.

Home Office data shows Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service responded to 9,455 call-outs in the year to September.

Unnecessary callouts can be costly and time-consuming for emergency services.

While malicious callers accounted for 5,473 calls to fire services across England last year, the largest proportion of false alarms occurred due to faulty equipment, such as broken fire alarms and smoke detectors.

In Nottinghamshire, 2,707 callouts were made for this reason, accounting for more than a quarter of all incidents attended.

A further 958 false-alarm calls were made in good faith, where the public believed a fire was taking place.

Area Manager Bryn Coleman, Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service head of prevention, protection and fire investigation.

Area Manager Bryn Coleman, NFRS head of prevention, protection and fire investigation. said “Crews are never mobilised to known false alarm incidents. We only come away from false alarm incidents, after inspecting the scene.

“The most common false alarms in Nottinghamshire come from high-risk buildings. Hospitals continue to present the greatest number of calls and we have a good working relationship with these premises to reduce the number of calls and improve procedures.

“Many of our false alarms come from automatic fire detectors.

“We have a tri-service approach to the attendance of AFD systems, that includes challenging calls at certain commercial premises to mitigate any unnecessary attendances.

“Our fire protection team and fire safety inspectors also work with businesses to prevent unnecessary callouts.

“Keeping our communities safe will always be our top priority. If you are in any doubt, ring 999.”

The National Fire Chiefs Council said a false alarm is attended to almost every 90 seconds in the UK and can cost up to £450, taking resources away from genuine emergencies.

Paul McCourt, of the NFCC, said, while a ‘considerable reduction has been seen in recent years, more needs to be done to limit the impact these false alarms have’.

He said owners of commercial properties, to blame for many false alarm callouts, have a ‘wider social responsibility’ to deal with them.

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