How Cleveland Fire Brigade is changing the way it responds to automatic fire alarms - and how it could affect you

Cleveland Fire Brigade will no longer respond to automatic fire alarms deemed as ‘low risk’ on weekends unless there is confirmation that there is a fire, the service has announced.

By Debra Fox
Tuesday, 09 July, 2019, 12:07
Cleveland Fire Brigade is to stop attending automatic alarms during office hours

Firefighters across Cleveland have saved more than 400 hours by changing their response to automatic fire alarms during the week – and now the brigade has revealed plans to further this initiative.

Automatic fire alarms help to keep people safe by providing early warning for a possible fire however the vast majority of signals from these alarms are not related to fires, but instead are reactions to steam, cigarette smoke, aerosol sprays and light smoke from cooking.

Cleveland Fire Brigade confirmed changes to its procedure in responding to these alarms, reducing the hours during which they respond to them without a further confirmation call that there is in fact a fire.

In a post on Facebook, the service said: “We don’t attend these alarms in low to medium risk premises (this does not include premises where sleeping takes place) between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday unless a back-up call is received to confirm a fire at the premises.

“We have extended this and will no longer attend these calls on Saturdays 7am until 6pm and Sundays 10am until 4pm unless a back-up call is received to confirm a fire at the premises.

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“Our previous work in this area led to a 39% reduction in these calls (2016-2018) which saved the brigade approx 435 hours to use for prevention and protection activities.”

Unwanted fire signals can tie up fire engines and personnel who could be attending real emergencies or carrying out vital training.

Repeated calls may result in formal action being taken by Cleveland Fire Authority.

Premises are being urged to ensure that fire risk assessments are up to date, and that a properly designed fire alarm and detection system are fitted, to avoid sending out the signals when they are not needed.

If any signs of fire are found, members of the public are reminded to contact the fire service using the 999/112 system.