England

Alarm change for County Durham and Darlington fire crews

Fire crews in County Durham and Darlington will no longer respond to every alert from alarm systems used by businesses.

The change has been made due to the cost in responding to false alarms after 1,036 such callouts were dealt with in 2012.

Crews will now only be sent to low risk properties during office hours if the business confirms there is a fire.

Buildings deemed high risk where people are sleeping will not be affected.

Community prevention and protection manager Steve Chicken said attending false alarms was "wasteful on resources" and caused "disruption" and "complacency" among businesses with high rates of false alarms.

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