Fire Service to charge firms £350 for false alarm call-outs

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West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will start charging businesses that generate more than three false alarm call-outs in a 12 month period.

The £350 charge is being imposed in a bid to drive down unnecessary call-outs which cost the authority dearly and tie up emergency services.

The charging policy will start on April 1 next year and will be run as a pilot for the first 18 months.

The move comes following legislation introduced in February 2012 allowing fire and rescue authorities in England to levy a charge against non-domestic premises.

Chris Kemp, Fire Protection Manager, said: “The introduction of a charging scheme will encourage businesses to manage their fire alarms appropriately in order to reduce the number of false alarms they generate.

“It should not be viewed as an income generation stream but a process to enable us to recover costs where we have committed resources which, had the call not been received, would have been available for other real

emergencies.

“It is our aim, through the introduction of this charging scheme, to ensure that we make the communities of West Yorkshire safer by reducing the number of false alarms.”

Attendance to false alarms and have reduced by over 42 per cent in the last three years.

However, the service still attends over 3,600 false calls from automatic fire alarms per year as a result of faulty apparatus or poor management, accounting for 16 per cent of all fire calls.