Firefighters’ plea to reduce false alarm call outs

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East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is urging the public to reduce false alarms after five call-outs in Brighton and Hove last night, and one in Newhaven.

Firefighters were called out to a fire alarm at 5.25pm yesterday (June 26), at Seafield Road, Hove. It turned out to be down to a system fault.

Then at 5.57pm, a call came in for another alarm at Cavendish Place, Brighton. This was caused by burnt food.

At 9.57pm, firefighters were sent to Pembroke Avenue, in Hove, due to a smell of burning, which was a result of a false alarm.

At 10.07pm, crews were called to Kings Road, in Brighton, to a fire alarm sounding. This was set off by steam from kitchen cleaner.

At 00.41am this morning (June 27) a crew were sent to Seafield Road, in Hove, due to a fire alarm sounding, but it turned out to be a false alarm.

And then at 2.33am, firefighters were sent to Avis Way, in Denton, in Newhaven, due to a fire alarm sounding and a system fault.

An East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “False alarms divert our crews from real emergencies. If you have an alarm, you can help reduce false alarms.

“Remember, fire alarm systems are there to alert occupants to the fact that there may be a fire and depending on your fire risk assessment and emergency plans, it is normally appropriate to investigate first and only to call the fire service if/when there are any signs to indicate that there is actually a fire.

“If you have an automatic alarm system, make sure it is installed properly, that you know how it works and it is serviced regularly by a competent person. The British Standards Institute’s BS 5839 has recommendations for the planning, design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of these systems. If these are followed, a false alarm issue is unlikely to occur.

“Best practice requires that false alarms are logged and investigated so that any patterns and trends are identified and dealt with.

“Be aware that steam and dust can trigger alarms and take precautions when possible.

“Ensure staff and/or residents know what to do when the alarm goes off.”

The fire service carries out home safety visits, for people who are most at risk from fires in their homes.

To book an appointment, visit: www.esfrs.org/your-safety/home-safety-visits/