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A good year for county's fire service

[Thursday 06 July 2006]

FEWER fires in the home, fewer people dying in fires and a reduction in road accident injuries are just some of the performance indicators being pointed to by bosses at North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (NYFRS) to demonstrate that they've had a good year.

fire engine
Fire Service targets false alrms
Photo: NYFRS

Over the twelve month period up until April this year, 5646 smoke alarms were fitted by Firefighters and Service staff across the county, an increase on last years figures of 62%.

The number of home fire safety checks completed was 7176, more that doubling last years figures at a 63% increase, and fire crews took part in 3569 community safety events, a 57% increase on last years figures.

The figures are released this week ahead of the annual Community Safety Proposals, which have been published for public consultation. Through the proposals, NYFRS is aiming to improve public and Firefighter safety by tackling the growing number of false alarms caused by automatic fire alarm Systems.

The Service says it is concerned about the number of false alarms received via these automatic systems. Over 3800 such calls are received every year with appliances responding county wide on blue lights and sirens, only to discover it was is system fault, which, the Service is keen to point out, could be prevented.

The fact that for some stations over 95% of such calls are false alarms with only one or two calls in every hundred requiring an attendance at all has prompted the Service to consider whether it is essential to respond at all.

The intention is to filter out false alarms, if there is the slightest doubt the appliances will be mobilised

Chris Anderson - Deputy Chief Fire Officer

Bosses are though keen to point out that the proposed policy will apply only during the day and at what are considered to be low risk commercial properties.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Chris Anderson said: "The intention is to filter out false alarms, if there is the slightest doubt the appliances will be mobilised. The procedure will be fail safe on such occasions.

"This is not about household smoke alarms or premises that have a life risk, as they will be responded to as normal. The new procedure will apply to low risk commercial properties and applying a common sense approach to checking the validity of the call received".

"This leaves the local Fire Crews to respond to genuine calls and allows more time for community safety initiatives, which are proving so successful at reducing the trauma and tragic consequences associated with fire deaths and injuries.

Copies of the consultation document and details of all community safety proposals contained within it can be found at www.northyorksfire.gov.uk

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