Fire service bid to beat false alarms

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A FIRE service will no longer turn out to alarm calls to businesses during office hours as it saves on the cost of false alerts.

Last year, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service received 1,036 false alarm calls at commercial buildings, accounting for 14.7 per cent of its total calls. Less than one per cent were actual fires.

From 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, it will not attend unless also phoned.

Community manager Steve Chicken said: “We are doing this because attending false alarms is not only wasteful on our resources, but it also causes disruption and financial losses to business, in addition to breeding complacency among occupants of premises that suffer from high rates of false alarms.

“Our approach will not increase risk to commercial premises.”