Charges for local firms who have faulty fire alarms

Businesses in the area 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 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 1,400 false alarm calls every year from businesses and organisations.

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: “We will fine-tune the policies to ensure that Control staff, operational crews and the local business community are fully aware of the changes.

“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.”